Michelle Smith, the winner of 3 gold medals and a bronze at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, is one “no-show” away from a possible four-year ban for not making herself available for drug testing. Smith, whose Olympic performances provoked allegations of drug use, was absent when a team of drug testers turned up at her home in Ireland four months ago.
While stressing that Smith was not yet in violation of its rules, FINA said a second “no-show” could result in sanctions. The penalty for refusing a drug test is a four-year ban, the same sanction as testing positive for steroids. Smith’s agent, John Gibbons, said that she was in the U.S. receiving an award at the time of the drug testers’ visit.