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Michelle Smith Back In the Swim of Things -- March 4, 1997

Swimming in Ireland for the first time since 1996 Olympic Games, Michelle Smith delighted her fans with a national record but declined to talk about the sensitive issue of drug-testing.

Smith became an instant heroine in Ireland after winning three gold medals at the 1996 Olympic Games.

She was given a rousing welcome when she arrived at the pool for the final of the 200m freestyle in Galway and received a standing ovation after setting a national short-course record of 2:01.38.

On both days hundreds of fans were left outside the swimming venue ticketless. Tickets sold out in a day.

The smiles on Smith's face disappeared when journalists tried to ask her questions about drug testing.

Smith underwent a drug test on Saturday, the first carried out by the Irish Amateur Swimming Association (IASA) on a swimmer competing in Ireland. The results of the test will be sent to FINA.

FINA confirmed last month that Smith failed to appear for an out-of-competition drug test at her home in County Kildare on October 13, 1996. She was attending a public function in her honor in New York on that date and did not return home until the 15th.