Thorpe Must Ex­plain Test or Face Charges

The Washington Post Sunday - - Sports - By Amy Ship­ley

MELBOURNE, Aus­tralia, April 1— Re­cently re­tired swim­mer Ian Thorpe re­ceived word Satur­day from Aus­tralian anti-dop­ing au­thor­i­ties that he will face for­mal dop­ing charges if he can­not ex­plain an ab­nor­mal drug-test re­sult from last May.

Aus­tralian Sports Anti-Dop­ing Author­ity Chair­man Richard Ings said dur­ing a news con­fer­ence Satur­day night that ASADA had been pre­pared to no­tify the swim­mer of the ir­reg­u­lar re­sult and seek an ex­pla­na­tion next week but has­tened the pro­ce­dure when a French news­pa­per re­vealed the ex­is­tence of the sam­ple on its Web site Satur­day.

Ings said re­ports that ASADA had closed the case were in­cor­rect. Of­fi­cials from the sport’s world gov­ern­ing body (FINA) an­nounced Satur­day that their sci­en­tific ex­perts con­sid­ered the sam­ple an “ad­verse an­a­lyt­i­cal re­sult” and had lodged an ap­peal with the Court of Ar­bi­tra­tion for Sport to clar­ify the is­sues in­volved in the case.

Ings said the sam­ple in ques­tion showed a testos­terone-to-epitestos­terone level in ex­cess of 4:1 with ir­reg­u­lar re­sults for other hor­mones.

The World Anti-Dop­ing Agency code re­quires fur­ther ex­am­i­na­tion of any sam­ple with such a ra­tio. (A 1:1 ra­tio is con­sid­ered nor­mal.) Ings stressed that the sam­ple showed ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties only in nat­u­ral hor­mones, in­di­cat­ing that no ar­ti­fi­cial testos­terone was found.

The com­plex­ity of the sam­ple ex­plained the 10 months be­tween the test and the no­ti­fi­ca­tion of the ath­lete, Ings said. Thorpe will be en­ti­tled to be present when the sec­ond half of his sam­ple, the B sam­ple, is ex­am­ined, as the code re­quires.

Ings de­clined to iden­tify the swim­mer, but sev­eral FINA and Aus­tralian sports of­fi­cials said it was Thorpe. If for­mal charges are filed, he would face a pos­si­ble twoyear ban.

Thorpe is ex­pected to give a news con­fer­ence Sun­day.

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