Kylie Palmer Banned From Competing at Worlds

Photo Courtesy: Swimming Australia

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Australian distance freestyler Kylie Palmer will no longer be participating at Worlds later this summer due to a suspension under the FINA Doping Control Rules. Palmer has voluntarily accepted the suspension while the proceedings are under review.

Palmer first appeared in the spotlight when she represented Australia at the 2006 Commonwealth Games, a meet that she finished fifth in the 400-meter freestyle. During the 2008 Australian Swimming Championships Palmer took first in the 800-meter freestyle, qualifying her for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

While in Beijing Palmer and teammates Stephanie Rice, Bronte Barratt, and Linda MacKenzie overcame the USA and China in the 800-meter freestyle relay to win gold with a 7:44.31.

At the World Championships in 2013 in Barcelona Palmer was part of the 800-meter freestyle relay that took silver. If FINA decides to pull the silver medal from Australia (Bronte Barrat, Kylie Palmer, Brittany Elmslie, and Alicia Coutts; 7:47.08), that would move France up to silver (Camille Muffat, Charlotte Bonnet, Mylene Lazare, and Coralie Balmy; 7:48.43) and China to bronze (Ye Shiwen, Shao Yiwen, Guo Junjun, and Qiu Yuhan; 7:49.79).

Swimming Australia Statement 

Swimming Australia confirms that it has received notification from FINA regarding an alleged anti-doping rule violation by Australian swimmer Kylie Palmer, which FINA alleges to have occurred during the 2013 FINA World Championships held in Barcelona, Spain.

Neither Swimming Australia nor Kylie received notice of this matter before April 2015. Upon receipt of that notice, Swimming Australia immediately advised ASADA.

This week, Kylie has advised Swimming Australia that she has voluntarily accepted a provisional suspension, under FINA’s Doping Code. The provisional suspension shall operate until the final determination of the matter by the FINA Doping Tribunal.

By operation of the provisional suspension, Kylie shall not compete at this week’s event in Townsville. Further, Kylie has informed Swimming Australia that she has withdrawn from the Australian team, selected for the upcoming FINA World Championships in Kazan.

Kylie is entitled to a fair and due process under FINA’s Doping Code.  This includes ensuring that proper processes are applied to every person affected by this matter.

Swimming Australia has a duty of care to ensure that we provide Kylie and her family with ongoing support. The health and welfare of Kylie and her teammates is important to Swimming Australia and we will ensure they have the necessary personal and professional support.

Swimming Australia is unable to make public comments in relation to specific matters relating to Kylie’s case, so as to protect the integrity of the FINA processes, and also so as to protect the integrity and interests of all parties involved.

Swimming Australia remains a strong supporter of the fight against performance-enhancing drugs and other forms of doping, in both swimming and all sport. Swimming Australia strongly backs the important work of WADA, ASADA and FINA in running a strict education and drug-testing regime.

Swimming Australia will continue to work with the Australian Government, the Australian Sports Commission and the Australian Olympic Committee to combat the menace of doping.

Under the confidentiality rules set out in the FINA Doping Control rules, Swimming Australia was unable to provide any details on these matters at an earlier time.

Kylie Palmer Statement

Kylie Palmer advises that she has voluntarily accepted a provisional suspension under the FINA Doping Control Rules pending determination of proceedings against her for a breach of those Rules.

Kylie was notified on 13 April 2015 that a sample she provided at the Swimming World Championships in Barcelona nearly two years previously (i.e. on 31 July 2013) had tested positive to a minute trace of a prohibited substance.  Since that time, Kylie has been endeavouring to investigate how this arose, a task that is almost impossible given the extraordinary passage of time.  Unfortunately, recent testing on the B Sample of the sample provided by Kylie on 31 July 2013 has also tested positive to a minute trace of the prohibited substance.

Kylie presently has no idea how the prohibited substance came into her system and is continuing to investigate the matter to the extent that she is able given the passage of time.  Kylie categorically denies knowingly taking any prohibited substance in Barcelona in July 2013 or at any time in her career. Kylie has always been a strong supporter of the anti-doping measures undertaken by FINA and has prided herself on being a successful clean swimmer.

With much regret, Kylie has chosen to withdraw from the Australian team for the upcoming Swimming World Championships in Russia in late July whilst she focuses on defending the FINA proceedings against her.  She wishes all of her Australian teammates well and will support them from afar.  Kylie will pursue her dream to represent Australia at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio once the FINA proceedings are dealt with.

Kylie thanks her family and friends for their support.  Due to the ongoing nature of the FINA proceedings, she is unable to comment further at this time and asks that the media respect her privacy.



  1. Keith Reichert

    Wait, what? They don’t tell us what drug she tested positive for, if only in a minute amount? Or did I misread that article?

    • Swimming World

      They haven’t released the substance, citing confidentiality rules.

    • Keith Reichert

      The Federation’s confidentiality rules? FINA’s? Australian? Pretty strange. It’s critical information for people trying to make sense of the suspension and any proferred excuse.

  2. Fuss Saalfeld

    Isn’t there a statute of limitations?? 2 years before notifying of an offense ? Something strange

    • Swimming World

      There is actually a 10-year window, where new tests can catch things as well.

    • Swimming World

      There is actually a 10-year window, where new tests can catch things as well.

    • Cristie Miller

      I think it’s great they can store athlete tests and catch drug cheats decades later. No hiding. Not ever.

  3. Niles Keeran

    Angel Martino Myers, American swimmer, was busted and came back to be eligible for the Atlanta Olympic Games-steroids.

  4. Toni Moore

    Nick Lydia Ciffolilli

  5. Natasha O

    Seriously Football need to look at how other sports action incidents and NO that doesn’t mean 3 strikes before you address it.

  6. Natasha O

    Seriously Football need to look at how other sports action incidents and NO that doesn’t mean 3 strikes before you address it.

  7. John Bladon

    Hey anyone think this could be pay back for Australian coaches outspoken comments about fina and the need for an independent review of its governance. Russia has systemic drug taking but gets the world champs. High profile Aussie and us coaches question this then Kylie get a dubious low reading for a diuretic after she was told it’s too low dragged back up as a get square. Is this not obvious or does 2+2 not equal 4?

  8. Stuart Mcrorie

    Forget swimming -go fishing!