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Aussie swimmer Palmer gets FINA warning, reprimand


Former Olympic champion Kylie Palmer has received a reprimand and warning from world governing body FINA over a positive doping test two years ago.

Palmer, a member of the Australian 4×200-meter freestyle relay team which won gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, tested positive to low levels of a banned masking agent at the 2013 world championships in Barcelona, but she was not notified of the failed test until earlier this year.

She denied taking performance-enhancing drugs, but the 25-year-old Palmer accepted a provisional suspension, which ruling her out of July’s world championships in Kazan, Russia.

In a statement on its website Wednesday, Swimming Australia said FINA’s doping tribunal issued Palmer with a reprimand and warning, allowing her to resume her bid to compete at next year’s Rio Olympics.

In June, Palmer withdrew from the Australian team for the world championships following FINA’s notification in April she had tested positive.

FINA later issued a statement that it investigated and cleared Palmer of a doping breach in January 2014, but was forced to issue a belated violation after the World Anti-Doping Agency appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in February.

FINA said then it decided not to pursue the matter initially because the levels of the substance, which it did not identify, detected in Palmer’s system on July 31, 2013 were so low.

Palmer on Wednesday said she was aware that FINA’s most recent decision could still be appealed.

“I sincerely hope that this process is now over,” she said in a statement. “It has been a distressing few months since I was first notified of the positive test . . . and missed the world championships. I cannot get back that opportunity to represent my country internationally, but I am now looking to the future.”

Swimming Australia said it “fully supported the process once the matter came before the FINA doping tribunal and accepts the findings.”

“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.”