Mary-Sophie Harvey Discusses Details of Possible Drugging Incident in Budapest

In a virtual press conference on Friday, Canadian swimmer Mary-Sophie Harvey opened up with details regarding her recent claims about being drugged at a party on the last night of the FINA World Championships, which took place from June 18 to 25 in Budapest, Hungary. The press conference was monitored by Swimming Canada and was conducted both in English and French.

On Wednesday, Harvey said in an Instagram post that she was unconscious for four to six hours after being drugged, and she shared photos of bruises that she received on the night of the incident.

Video (Edited):

What Went Down

Harvey said that she was at a party with swimmers from multiple different countries, and that her friends accompanying her had helped her with trying to figure out what happened when she was unconscious. However, she claims that what happened in the window of time between when she “was okay and not okay” is still unclear, and that her friends were looking for her after she was drugged and found her on the streets.

“I know the bits that my friends told me kind of helped,” Harvey said. “I know for most of the night I was with people, and that kind of made me more secure in a way, but some of the unknowns are still a bit scary for me.”

“That’s the scary part about what’s missing from that night, I guess,” Harvey said in reference to having an unclear memory of what had happened to her.

Harvey did not file a police report on the incident, citing that “because [the incident] happened in Hungary, it’s kind of difficult do this overseas and stuff like that.”

“To be honest, I didn’t really think much about [what happened] for the first 24 hours,” Harvey said. “It was just like a blank, and I was on the plane and stuff.”

It wasn’t until Harvey got home that she found out about her bruises, noticing them while she was taking her clothes off to shower. “That’s when it kind of synced,” Harvey said. “Seeing the bruises made me feel like something happened and I didn’t know about it…It got me scared.”

An invitation to the party that Harvey was at was given to her by a Hungarian swimmer, although she did not know who they were. She also did not have any knowledge of who hosted this party, but knew that it was at the Gigi Bar in Budapest. She claimed that both swimmers and non-swimmers were at this party, something that has been confirmed to SwimSwam already by multiple sources. Swimming Canada said they knew of multiple Canadians who were at the party, but did not give names.

The event was billed as a “Swimming World Championships Afterparty,” though there is confusion over who was actually hosting the party.

Harvey said that when she woke up following being drugged, she was missing her purse, her phone, and her wallet. She went back to the bar the next morning and had all of her belongings returned to her, aside from a disposable camera, which she “thinks would have kind of helped to piece the night together.”

Not naming anyone in particular, Harvey said she heard from other swimmers who claimed they had experienced similar symptoms to hers. SwimSwam has received a report on Thursday from an individual involved at the World Championships who believes that they may have been drugged as well after a similar experience to Harvey’s. That individual says that they do not believe they drank enough to have blacked out as a result of alcohol consumption.

Swimming Canada said that Harvey attempted to get a toxicology test but could not do so, as the hospital offering the test said that it was too late. This means that she doesn’t know what substance she might have been drugged with.


In the week since Harvey returned from Budapest, her bruises have began to fade away, which she’s happy about because she “sees them like a constant reminder in a way [of what happened].” She tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday this week.

Although Harvey said she had been hurt by the drugging, as suffered a rib sprain and a small concussion and struggled to work out (especially doing upper body excersises) in her first week back, she claimed that what happened to her had more of a mental impact.

“I had a good World Championships meet, it was one of my best meets in a while, and I was very pleased with the performance,” Harvey said. At the World Championships, Harvey set a best time of 2:10.22 in the semifinals of the 200 IM and finished 8th in the finals, while also picking up a bronze medal (her first major international medal) from swimming the heats of the 4×200 free relay.”

“I remember opening the [medal] box back home and I didn’t feel like it belonged to me,” Harvey said. “I didn’t feel like the body I was in belonged to me…I think that’s the sad part about it because this wonderful meet I had was tarnished by this event and it was just a rollercoaster of emotions.”

However, Harvey still thinks that she has gotten better mentally since when she first found out she was drugged.

“I think the Mary from last week wouldn’t have been able to talk to all of you guys and post what she did on Wednesday,” Harvey said. “It’s just day by day to kind of cope with it and be okay with it, and sharing my story also made me realize that I’m not the only one in this situation, which is sad but I think it helped people and it also helped me to see that we are not alone in this and it doesn’t define us.”

In her Instagram post, Harvey said that she felt judgement from other people after speaking out about being drugged. When asked to clarify what that meant, she said that there were many people who dismissed her struggles as just “drinking too much”.

Harvey said that people told her “You probably just drank too much, and maybe next time you’ll think about this and be more careful”.

“In the back of my mind…I don’t feel like that happened,” Harvey said referring to the accusations people made about her being too drunk. “I was in control the whole time until I couldn’t recall anything.” Harvey stated that she had a total of four drinks that night.

Because people told her she was just drunk, Harvey said she felt felt shame for what happened, and went into a negative cycle of telling herself that she was “crazy” and that her drugging was preventable. However, she stated that when she talked to other people that were there at the party, she realized that she was “not crazy”.

Resources And Help

Upon returning home, Harvey called a victim hotline specifically made for situations like hers and was “struck by the lack of resources victims have for these [cases].” She said that the person on the hotline told her there were only two places in Montreal that offered care. She then claimed that she left a message to one of these places to make an appointment, but she had to wait two days for them to respond and by that time it was too late for her to get proper treatment for what happened to her.

“This makes me sad because for people who actually got violated and stuff, you shouldn’t have to wait two days to get treatment because it’s too late.” Harvey said.

When asked about preventative measures that Swimming Canada would take so that other athletes wouldn’t be harmed in the future, they responded saying that they were in the process of figuring things out, and that what happened to Mary would be brought up in team meetings in the future. There was also an email sent out by the organization saying that Mary was supported and that people needed to be careful.

“I think it’s important not to portray this as Mary’s fault…the safety of our current team members is our first and foremost priority.” Nathan White, the spokesperson for Swimming Canada said. ”

“The reaction in the moment was her safety and medical treatment,” White said.” Since then, it’s been offering her support…our team doctors, myself, have helped her with the media demand and she’s heard from our top executives as well up to the CEO…We are just trying to her manage and get back to living her normal life and getting ready for the Commonwealth Games.”

In a statement that was previously sent to SwimSwam, Swimming Canada said they were conducting an investigation on the incident and had filed a report to an independent SafeSport officer. FINA also said they were in contact with Swimming Canada and the Local Organising Comittee.

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Mike Sanborn
6 months ago

for the protection of those involved, particular Mary-Sophie who described in the interview the negative impact of comments made by those on social media, I would have hoped that SwimSwam would have considered disabling comments on this particular article.

Last edited 6 months ago by Mike Sanborn
6 months ago

So no one knows who planned the party.
Maybe the mystery person or group of people who drugged her and potentially others were the ones that planned the party.

6 months ago


Another perspective
6 months ago

I think there are a few things to consider, without intending to be insensitive or untrusting of the current theory.
Without a toxicology report there is no certainty that this was as a result of a drugging incident.
Mary’s body composition has changed over the last several months, this may result in a different tolerance level to alcohol. If this is taken into consideration with a lower food intake on this day it would also affect the bodies reaction to alcohol.
She now has Covid, her body could have been in a suppressed immune function at the time and this could have contributed.
Either way, the result is scary, unaccountable time and bruising to her body.… Read more »

6 months ago

This is strange..on one hand she says she was with friends the whole time. Did they move her when she passed out? Her things were returned the next day. I don’t think Fina has any say in this. This was a party in a bar that athletes over 18 were invited to attend.
Budapest is like any place, there could have been someone or a group spiking drinks. Or these drinks could have been really strong. Why didn’t her friends do or say anything? Did they just assume she was drunk?

Ugly IS my alibi
Reply to  Susan
6 months ago

A bunch of people at a bar who haven’t had a drink in weeks are not the best look out team

6 months ago

This is pretty insensitive. I think we have to trust that she knows her own body and her reaction to what she might ordinarily choose to put in it. This sounds like a traumatic experience and I don’t think it’s that helpful to suggest she’s not being honest.

Reply to  Swimmer
6 months ago

Not only insensitive, but rather dense. If someone is embarrassed about a night of drinking too heavily do they make an international story of it? No, they would slink away and resolve to drink more responsibly next time. You would never have heard of it. Instead, Mary-Sophie has been candid can about her experience – as candid as can be given the 4-6 hour hole in her memory. It speaks volumes that so many are trying to punch holes in her story (not here necessarily but you should see the comments in the toxic dump that is the foxnews comments section – or better yet, don’t).

6 months ago

Canada is having a very strange time of it lately!

Reply to  Gheko
6 months ago

Why? I mean the US, Japan, the UK, Ukraine, Russian, I get it. But why Canada?

Last edited 6 months ago by Catherine
Reply to  Catherine
6 months ago

Look at what’s happening with the swimming federation people leaving, people changing nationality people withdrawing from meets etc with no valid reason, it seems like the whole swimming thing needs a massive overhaul, Maybe the swimmers are damned if they speak out and damned if they don’t, just an observation I have no connection to Swim Canada at all.

6 months ago

As a parent of Previous National Teams from 2005 to 2014 I can for sure say that Swim Canada is responsible for any swimmer who makes their National team. In the past I have seen personally swimmers who where under 18 years of age being allowed to go party where they wish on the last night unsupervised In fact a well know swimmer female was naked at a party and everyone thought wow cool. As a parent of male and female swimmers on the National Team I can confirm what I am stating has been true since 2005

If they are representing our Country and with a National organization the Team Manager Chaperone should be held accountable they should control… Read more »

6 months ago

Bro. Read the room. You were “Swim Canada” and what you did was traffic steroids.

Reply to  swimapologist
6 months ago

Okay but that has nothing to do with the point they’re making.

Reply to  Bossanova
6 months ago

This guy is a Criminal, and it has everything to do with point.

Reply to  swimapologist
6 months ago

Thank you for trying to belittle the facts I would like to say that in life we can easily make mistakes in my case yes however I have paid for mine and this was a long time ago. I only home that I can continue to be a good citizen and help where I can in my life. It does not take away from the facts of speaking the truth and having first hand knowledge of what transpires.

6 months ago

Read up on this guy.

About Yanyan Li

Yanyan Li

Although Yanyan wasn't the greatest competitive swimmer, she learned more about the sport of swimming through scoring countless dual meets, being a timer, and keeping track of her teammates' best times for three years as a team manager. She eventually ventured into the realm of writing and joined SwimSwam in …

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