SYDNEY (Reuters) - Former Olympic relay champion Kylie Palmer had been cleared of a doping violation by FINA in 2013 but the World Anti-Doping Agency appealed the decision leading to her current suspension, swimming’s world governing body has said.
The 25-year-old pulled out of Australia’s team for next month’s world championships in Russia on Thursday after being informed she had failed the dope test at the 2013 edition of the event in Barcelona.
A FINA statement said it had cleared Palmer after the “low levels of a prohibited substance” evident in her in-competition sample in Barcelona did not show up in other tests conducted around the same time.
In February this year, however, WADA requested details of the case and subsequently asked the Court of Arbitration of Sport to order FINA to treat the case as an anti-doping violation.
Palmer, who strongly denies knowingly ingesting any banned substances, has accepted a provisional suspension until the case is heard by FINA’s doping tribunal.
A 4x200m freestyle relay champion at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and a silver medallist in the same event four years later in London, Palmer was hoping to compete at a third Games next year.
If found guilty of an offence, Palmer faces a two-year ban which would rule her out of the Rio Olympics, while the whole Australian 4x200m freestyle team would be stripped of the silver medals they won in Barcelona.
Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Peter Rutherford