Mads Glaesner’s Appeal Upheld, He Will Retain World Championship Gold

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has announced this morning that they have upheld an appeal by Danish swimmer Mads Glaesner against a punishment from FINA that cost him two medals at the 2012 World Short Course Championships.

Glaesner tested positive on December 14th, 2012 after a bronze in the 400 free for the substance phenpromethamine, which is a prohibited substance in-competition. Glaesner reaffirmed to the CAS that he had taken the American version of the Vick’s inhaler, which contains the substance, as compared to the Danish version, which does not, on accident. He knew that the Danish version didn’t contain any prohibited substances, and therefore was legal, according to the CAS release.

As a part of his appeal, he had his “B” sample tested for the presence of levmetamfetamine, a substance that would be explained by the Vick’s inhaler, not phenpromethamine, though both are prohibited in competition. The “B” sample confirmed that it was, in fact, levmetamfetamine.

For that violation, the FINA Doping Panel declared him ineligible for 3 months from March 19th, 2013, and took away all results beginning on December 14th, 2012, including medals and prizes.

However, Glaesner did not test positive after his December 16th gold medal for the 1500m, and appealed on the basis that this medal should not have been stripped.

German Sole Arbitrator Prof. Ulrich Haas has issued a decision in Glaesner’s favor on his lone appeal, however, of the stripping of the December 16th gold medal, and agreed with him.

Therefore, Glaesner will still lose his bronze medal in the 400m freestyle, but will be restored as the gold medalist of the 1500m freestyle. This means that Italy’s Gregorio Paltrinieri will be returned to his silver medal position, Pal Joensen of the Faroe Islands returned to bronze, and Poland’s Mateusz Sawrymowicz will be off of the medal stand once again in the 1500.

According to the CAS, Haas ruled that “according to the applicable rules there was no reason to disqualify the results of the athlete of 16 December 2012 (the 1500 free).”

As part of the ruling, Haas has consented to Glaesner’s request that FINA issue a corrective press release attesting to the above, which should be out soon. All official records should be amended to reflect Glaesner’s gold medal. For all signatories of the World Anti-Doping Code, the Court of Arbitration for Sport is the ultimate appeal authority in matters of doping.

Read the full CAS press release here.
Read the full CAS decision here.

Update: FINA has released its correction of the official medal results from the two relevant races:

Lausanne (SUI), February 4, 2014 – Following the decision of the FINA Doping Panel on June 14, 2013 (see FINA Press Release 47/2013) on the case Mads Glaesner (DEN), the swimmer filed an appeal to the CAS (Court of Arbitration for Sport). The decision of the CAS, issued on January 31, 2014 stipulates that only the results of the date of testing (December 14, 2012) are forfeited.

Therefore, the final classification of the two relevant events at the 11th FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) Istanbul 2012 is established as follows:

400m Free (on December 14, 2012):

Gold Medal: Paul Biedermann (GER) – 3:39.15
Silver Medal: Yun Hao (CHN) – 3:39.48
Bronze Medal: Matthew Stanley (NZL) – 3:41.01

1500m Free (on December 16, 2012):

Gold Medal: Mads Glaesner (DEN) – 14:30.01
Silver Medal: Gregorio Paltrinieri (ITA) – 14:31.13
Bronze Medal: Pal Joensen (FAR) – 14:36.93

Leave a Reply

Notify of
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
7 years ago

This is absolute bull!!! He’s a bloody cheater and yet gets to keep his medal from 2 days later? What is wrong with this system! Why can WADA and FINA not have some balls and stand up to cheaters once and for all!!!

Reply to  ihatedrugcheats
7 years ago

You have absolutely no idea how hard it is to make sure that even the most basic cold medicine is free of banned substances. Give the guy a break, and go do something better with your life than insulting people on a swim swam article.

7 years ago

This is a rather unfortunate precedent. Surely if you test positive you forfeit all results from that point forward. Since he tested positive before the 1500m, his results should be invalidated. Otherwise the CAS seems to be saying that unless you get caught right after a race it doesn’t count?

While I like Mads and would like to believe he was stupid rather than cheated intentionally, this decision is nonsense.

Reply to  Braden Keith
7 years ago

Thanks Braden, that does make a bit more sense. I guess I was looking at it from the point of view that if he was given a 3 month suspension from the point at which he failed the first test, he shouldn’t have been in a position to compete at all. That to me would seem to be the fairest way to handle things.

tall n wet
7 years ago

Dude calm down. It wasnt like he tested positive for cocaine…

7 years ago

First rule for drug cheaters everywhere:

Have the money to hire very good lawyers.

7 years ago

I haven’t read the ruling yet but I do it later. This is good news. I remember the case and I hoped then (on swimswam’s comment section) that he appeals because he wouldn’t have been punished in the first place. The whole case was clearly just an accident and he did get only theoretical help from it.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

Read More »