Kira Toussaint is a competitive swimmer who represents the Netherlands internationally. She swam at both Florida Gulf Coast University (2013-2015) and the University of Tennessee (2015-2017) for college. Her mother, Jolanda, is an Olympic gold medalist in the 200 meter backstroke and took bronze in the 100 meter backstroke, both in the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles.
At the 2012 European short course championships, Kira broke the 100 back Dutch national record in a time of 57.16. She would go on to finish 4th overall in the final.
During her time at FGCU, Kira broke 4 school records (200 free, 100 back, 200 back, 100 fly) and was named CCSA swimmer of the year her freshman year (2014). That year she was also named outstanding freshman of the year and female performer of the meet at the CCSA conference championships. She notched a 7th place finish in the 100 back (51.81) at the 2014 NCAA championships, the highest finish in school history.
During her 2 years at UT, Kira earned 7 All-America honors, including a runner-up finish in the 200 free relay (2016) and an 8th place finish in the 100 back (2016). She was also named as a CSCAA All-American (honorable mention), 2017 All-SEC team (2nd team), and an SEC swimmer of the week (2017).
2016 Rio Olympics
In 2016, Kira qualified for the Rio olympics, swimming a time of 1:00.25 to hit the qualifying standard exactly. She finished 18th in the prelims of the 100 back, just missing semis, and becoming the first woman in Tennessee history to ever compete at the Olympics while still being an active member of the Tennessee women’s program.
2017 World Championships
Kira swan the 50 and 100 back in Budapest, finishing 16th overall in the semis of the 100 back. In the 50, she finished 17th in prelims, just outside of a 2nd swim.
2018 European Championships
Kira continued to broaden her schedule, keeping the 50 and 100 backstroke but pulling relay duties in Glasgow as well. She made the final of the 50 back, swimming a personal best in the semi’s of 27.92, and finished 8th in the final. She again made the final heat of the 100 back and again finished 8th. In the final heat of the 4×100 free relay, she split a 54.47 to help the Dutch touch 2nd. In the final of the 4×100 medley, relay, she led off in a personal best of 59.81 to aid the Dutch securing a 5th place finish. She also swam in the prelims of the mixed 4×100 free relay, which went on to get silver.
Positive Drug Test
On December 20th, after pulling out of short course world championships due to illness, Toussaint announced on social media that she had tested positive for tulobuterol. Her post on Instagram explained her situation and surprise at the results of the drug test:
“On the 7th of December 2018, just before the start of the World Swimming Championships in Hangzhou (China) I was notified by FINA that I tested positive for the substance: Tulobuterol.
“The urine sample was collected during a doping test on the 2nd of November 2018 during the World Cup Swimming in Beijing. Tulobuterol is a substance that has a prolonged bronchodilator effect. The medicine can be administered using an inhaler or using a patch applied to the skin, or like clenbuterol, for example via contaminated food.
“I am an asthma patient and to treat my asthmatic condition I use another medication. The medication I use is allowed and has the same effect as Tulobuterol. Reportedly Tulobuterol is not available in Europe. It is predominantly available in seven countries in Asia, including China.”