Australian swimmer Kylie Palmer has released a statement on FINA’s decision to hand her only a warning for a positive anti-doping test after several procedural boggles reportedly set the case back more than two years.
You can read a more in-depth look at the timeline of Palmer’s anti-doping case here. The gist is that Palmer passed two separate drug tests at the 2013 World Championships, but tested positive for low levels of a diuretic/masking agent in a third.
FINA originally planned not to pursue an anti-doping case against Palmer, but the World Anti-Doping Agency disagreed. Miscommunication between the two organizations meant Palmer was not informed of her failed test until almost two years later, severely hampering her ability to defend herself or show how the banned substance entered her system.
The biggest news from Palmer’s statement today is that the FINA punishment handed down yesterday could still be appealed. Palmer welcomed FINA’s punishment, which was a warning and a stripping of all results from the single day she failed the test. That wipes out a 6th-place finish in the 200 free, but does not take away any medals.
You can read her full statement below:
Kylie Palmer welcomes the decision by the FINA Doping Panel overnight to impose a warning and a reprimand in respect of the anti-doping rule violation arising from sample she provided at the FINA World Championships in Barcelona on 31 July 2013.
Kylie said, “I am very pleased that the decision of the Panel means that I can return to competitive swimming immediately. My number one goal is to represent Australia at the Rio Olympics in 2016 and I cannot wait to get back on track to achieving that dream”.
Kylie notes that the FINA Doping Panel has not yet delivered its reasons for the decision and is conscious of the fact that the decision may be appealed. “I sincerely hope that this process is now over. It has been a distressing few months since I was first notified of the positive test back in April 2015. Since that time I made the decision to accept a provisional suspension and missed the FINA World Championships in Kazan. I cannot get back that opportunity to represent my country internationally but I am now looking to the future”, she said.
Kylie has no idea how the prohibited substance came into her system despite extensive investigations into the matter which were made near impossible by the passage of time between the provision of the sample (July 2013) and notification to her of that result (April 2015). Kylie categorically denies knowingly taking any prohibited substance in Barcelona in July 2013 or at any time in her career. Kylie has always been a strong supporter of the anti-doping measures undertaken by FINA and has prided herself on being a successful clean swimmer.
Kylie thanks her family and friends for their support. Due to the ongoing nature of the anti-doping proceedings, she is unable to comment further at this time.