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A question of timing

Posted by Active Toby on Apr 5, 2007 2:30:00 AM

By Jesse Hammond


On the heels of an incredible World Championships in Melbourne, the swimming world was suddenly rocked last week when the French newspaper L'Equipe reported that retired Australian swimmer Ian Thorpe showed high levels of two performance-enhancing substances in a drug test in May 2006.


Thorpe, who retired last November at the age of 24, denies ever cheating. He will not face losing his records (except, perhaps, to Michael Phelps) or medals, because he did not fail the test, according to swimming and doping officials. The substances, testosterone and luteinizing hormone, are both naturally occurring in a male's body, but high levels can have steroid-like effects.


In fact, the biggest controversy surrounding the report has been the actual leak itself. FINA, swimming's world governing body, plans to investigate how the confidential information reached a French newspaper. The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) performed the test and maintains they aren't the source of the leak.


The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has called the report a "serious breach of confidentiality." WADA is not yet involved in the case because it "has not led to an analytical positive result, but is rather an unusual situation which is subject to further inquiry," it said in a statement.

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