The story has been updated below after FINA announced that they will strip both of Glaesner’s medals and promote the finishers below him. See more here: https://swimswam.com/fina-strips-glaesner-of-world-championship-as-well-paltrinieri-becomes-1500-champ/
The Danish Swimming Federation has announced today that Mads Glaesner has been levied a three-month ban on Sunday for failing an anti-doping test at the 2012 World Short Course Championships in Istanbul last December.
Specifically, he tested positive for Levmetamfetamine after taking a bronze medal in the 400 free.
Levmetamfetamine affects the sympathetic nervous system, though has little effect on the central nervous system as the Danish release indicates. It is used as a vasoconstrictor, in other words it makes blood vessels smaller, which could theoretically be used in periods of training to increase the efficiency of the muscles.
These vasoconstrictive qualities makes Levmetamfetamine popular in nasal decongestants, and in the United States it is an ingredient in the popular over-the-counter Vic’s Vapor rub (though other countries’ formulations do not use the substance), and according to the Danish federation this is to what Glaesner attritbuted the test. He lives and trains in Los Angeles, California at USC.
“It was a huge shock when I was informed of the positive test,” Glaesner said of the situation (translated from Danish). “It has since filled incredibly much in my life. I have always taken a strong stance against all forms of doping and could in no way take any illegal substances deliberately and with the intention of improving my performance. However, I am glad that finally things have come to an end, and again I can move my full focus back on the swim”
The Danish report credits this, as well as extremely low levels of the substance as to why the suspension was so short, and noted that two days later after the 1500 meter freestyle, his test came back clean. He won the gold medal in that 1500 freestyle.
In addition to his three-month suspension, and the loss of that bronze medal from the World Championships. New Zealand’s Matthew Stanley placed 4th in that event, and will now be awarded the bronze medal. He will also lose the medal for the 1500, even though that test came back negative.
This three-month suspension will not cost Glaesner a swim directly at the long course World Championships in Barcelona this summer, but because he missed the World Championship Trials, he on’t be selected aside from special reprieve. After all appeals and B-samples were run, the suspension was back-dated to March 19th, so his suspension will be up on Wednesday.
According to the World Anti-Doping Code, the appropriate punishments for a first positive test for this substance can range from public reprimand to two years of suspension.
Earlier this week, Denmark revealed another suspension, that of Frans Johannessen at the Danish Open. Johnannessen tested positive for Terbutaline, a substance used in asthma medication. The 20-year old Johannessen had a chance at this summer’s World Championship squad himself, with bests of 1:49.7 in the 200 free and 3:56.4 in the 400 free. That best time was done at the Danish Open, and will likely now be invalidated. His immediate punishment was removal from a planned participation in this week’s Mare Nostrum series.
Taking these two tests in conjunction, the federation said that this implies a renewed need for education on the dangers of even over-the-counter medicines for elite, drug-tested athletes.