Kylie Palmer Speaks Out On Doping “Warning” For 2013 Positive Drug Test

June 2, 2012; Santa Clara, CA, USA; Kylie Palmer (AUS) swims during the women's 200-meter freestyle preliminaries in the Santa Clara international grand prix at the George F. Haines International Swim Center. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Photo Courtesy: Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE

After an arduous year in which she had to withdraw from Australia’s world championship team while appealing her provisional suspension for a two-year-old positive drug test, Kylie Palmer is now ready to turn her focus to the Rio Olympics.

The 25-year-old tested positive for furosemide on July 31, 2013, the day she placed sixth in the 200 free at the world championships. FINA had determined that the A and B samples from that urine test were the only ones that contained furosemide among the various tests Palmer was submitted to on July 31 and August 1. The case went to the World Anti-Doping Agency, who wanted to investigate the matter further. As such, Palmer was put on provisional suspension earlier this year pending the results of WADA’s appeal.

Now, Palmer is speaking out on the ruling, saying she is “very pleased that the decision of the Panel means I can return to competitive swimming immediately.” She has about seven months to get race ready for the Australian Olympic Trials, where she would be viewed as a heavy favorite to earn a spot on the Olympic team in the 200 free and 800 free relay.

Below is the statement released by Palmer’s team:

Kylie Palmer welcomes the decision by the FINA Doping Panel overnight to impose a warning and a reprimand in respect of the anti-doping rule violation arising from sample she provided at the FINA World Championships in Barcelona on 31 July 2013.

Kylie said, “I am very pleased that the decision of the Panel means that I can return to competitive swimming immediately. My number one goal is to represent Australia at the Rio Olympics in 2016 and I cannot wait to get back on track to achieving that dream.”

Kylie notes that the FINA Doping Panel has not yet delivered its reasons for the decision and is conscious of the fact that the decision may be appealed.

“I sincerely hope that this process is now over. It has been a distressing few months since I was first notified of the positive test back in April 2015. Since that time I made the decision to accept a provisional suspension and missed the FINA World Championships in Kazan. I cannot get back that opportunity to represent my country internationally but I am now looking to the future,” she said.

Kylie has no idea how the prohibited substance came into her system despite extensive investigations into the matter which were made near impossible by the passage of time between the provision of the sample (July 2013) and notification to her of that result (April 2015). 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.

Kylie thanks her family and friends for their support. Due to the ongoing nature of the anti-doping proceedings, she is unable to comment further at this time.


  1. avatar
    Mz Sw

    She doesnt know how a masking agent got into her system. Love when pros drop BS bombs like this. We all know why diuretics are used.

    • avatar

      Exactly Mz Sw.

      And of course it wasn’t in later samples… diuretics also clear themselves out of your system.

      This is a case of FINA attempting to overrule WADA again with its stars.

  2. avatar
    Paul Schlanger

    Kylie Palmer stands condemned without the ability to have defended herself.
    “Justice delayed was justice denied”.
    This is the case that Swimming Australia should have mounted on her behalf. Instead they capitulated, throwing her to the wolves. The message that Australian Swimming is giving to all its swimmers is regardless of your innocence we will abandon you.
    I hope Kylie Palmer takes this to appeal at the Court Of Arbitration for Sport to clear her name without the help of Australian Swimming.

    • avatar

      I suspect that, barring an appeal from WADA, she will seek to put “an end to all this’ and try and put it behind her if she is intending to compete for Rio selection. Otherwise, the entire circus keeps on going and remains a major distraction.

      TBH, this is a saga in which ALL involved come out with their reputations “sullied” for better or worse.

      For all of its lofty stated intentions, WADA (and its mouthpieces) all too often appear politically motivated in its actions. There HAS been a major uproar in recent times in AUS sport involving the use of supplements in a major (non-Olympic) football code and WADA was seeking essentially extra judicial powers for the local anti-doping agency (ASADA) that NO govt would logically assent to. Was this “knock-back” a motivating factor in digging up this case ? Who knows but a plausible scenario ? The back and forth between WADA & FINA reminds one more of a juvenile exercise in who can urinate furthest up a wall.

      FINA’s byzantine processes and failure to (1) address WADA’s original enquiries and (2) provide notification to the swimmer and their national body at that time leaves them highly “culpable” as this entire matter should have been settled well before this came to light. Their failure to do so has essentially rendered it a farce. Even the dates and so called facts/decisions do not entirely “compute”.

      Given the “metabolising” life span of the substance, it’s only natural that the later test would read “clear” given the minute reading the date before. But is that a valid enough reason NOT to pursue the case ? DID they have other tests from earlier in the same meet from this swimmer that were also negative which may’ve explained their call ? If so, why was this not stated ?

      Minute quantities they may’ve been but WHAT WAS Furosemide (a manufactured diuretic NOT likely to be found in nature) doing in Palmer’s system ? Yes, it is also has veterinary uses (Horses, cats, dogs in which it has a 72hour “window” AND is banned in equestrian comp) but is it really likely she would have been consuming any of the above ?

      It would have been interesting to see what defence could have been constructed however this is all rendered “moot” given the time elapsed. In essence, Palmer HAS been denied natural justice/capacity to make a defence. Justice denied or justice escaped; one could debate this ad infinitum but it is a core principle that an accused be accorded the right of defending themselves and this was not the case here. For better or worse, she joins the ranks of those with asterisks against their names and records.