Top Irish businessmen and industrialists have pledged “well over one million pounds ($1.65 million)” toward a legal fund war chest for Michelle Smith-De Bruin, the triple Olympic champion defending allegations of tampering with a drug test sample she provided in January, according to the 28-year-old swimmer’s father.
Speaking from Dublin, Brian Smith told Swimming World: “There’s plenty of money around. One million pounds would be a small figure against what businessmen have offered. We’re not threatening anyone or waving big sticks. At this stage, we’ve declined the offers because as we see it, Michelle has got no case to answer.”
The swimmer’s urine sample contained enough alcohol in it to have killed her had it passed through her digestive system, according to the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
Mr. Smith rejected a suggestion that the Irish people be asked to send one pound each to help cover the cost of his daughter’s legal fight. “That would be unethical and besides, we don’t need that. I’ve had little children come up to me in the street with money. The response has been fantastic.”