Triple Olympic champion Michelle Smith-De Bruin has angrily rejected new drugs allegations made against her by the sport’s controlling body.
In a detailed statement at a crowded news conference in Dublin the Irish swimmer pledged to fight FINA charges that she had tampered with a sample and vowed to protect her good name – and that of Ireland.
But on the advice of her solicitor, who sat with her on the conference platform, she made it clear at the start she would answer no questions from journalists for legal reasons.
Smith-De Bruin said the charges against her made by FINA amounted to “further unfounded allegations” and claimed: “I have been tested out of competition more than any other swimmer in recent history.”
She said she had been “stunned” to receive a faxed message from FINA earlier this week and condemned the delay in getting in touch with her, claiming FINA had received the results of tests made in January within weeks of that date.
She described as the “most startling” accusation suggestions she had in some way tampered with the sample given during the tests provided at her home in Ireland.
She disclosed that a claim had been made that the sample had contained “a very strong whisky odour”.
She commented: “I am disgusted with the results and the way they have been communicated to me. This is one of the most serious charges of my career to my credibility. I am innocent of these charges. I am appalled at the way they have been leaked into the public domain and I intend fully defending them.”