Fina Issues a Reprimand For Australian Swimmer Kylie Palmer Two Years Later
It's been years since Kyle Palmer was on the gold medal winning 4×200 metre relay team that took first place at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and now FINA is finally issuing a reprimand for a failed drug test from two years ago that Palmer states she knew nothing about. They are giving her a warning as well, meaning if she is caught again she may face dire consequences and could be banned from competing in future Olympic games.
FINA claims that Palmer had tested positive for a masking agent. Masking agents are typically used to hide sports enhancing drugs that are banned from competitive competitions. While they don't have any physical enhancing properties themselves, masking drugs can be used to allow a person to pass a drug test even if they really are using performance enhancing substances. However, some tests will detect these types of agents, and it seems Palmer is being busted for it.
Kylie Palmer has denied that she used any of these types of drugs, and actually stated that she didn't even know that she had failed the drug test until it was brought to her attention earlier this year. She has accepted the punishment of a provisional suspension. This will prevent her from being able to compete in Russia's world championships next July, but she will still be allowed to compete in Rio's Olympic games.
Palmer has already withdrawn from the Australian relay team preparing for worlds after she was found to have a tiny amount of a disclosed substance that is banned from the games following a FINA test.
The reason it took so long for Palmer to find out about the results is because FINA had decided that they were not going to pursue the matter since the levels of the masking agent were very small and not enough to mask a substance. However, it was later forced to issue a violation once the World Anti-Doping Agency had taken the matter to court with an appeal back in February.
Swimming Australia released a report on the matter that talked about the various issues that have occurred for Palmer as a result of the belated decision.
“Swimming Australia's concern throughout the process was the two-year delay in informing the athlete of the positive test that occurred in 2013, and the issues that this created for Kylie Palmer throughout the process.”
The delay caused the punishment to be pushed back closer to the 2016 Olympics, which gives Palmer less room to compete and prepare for the games. If the issue had been taken care of two years ago, Kylie would have ample time to take her punishment and begin competing again leading up to the games. Now, she will face her suspension right up to the start of the Rio Olympics and won't have as much opportunity to competitively prepare.