June 17, 2015

SYDNEY (AP) Kylie Palmer has withdrawn from the Australian swim team for next month's world championships in Kazan, Russia after testing positive for a banned substance at the Barcelona worlds in 2013.

Swimming Australia said in a statement Thursday that neither it nor Palmer, a 4x200-meter freestyle relay gold medalist at the 2008 Olympics and silver medalist in the relay at London in 2012, had received notice of the doping breach until April this year.

Palmer advised Swimming Australia this week that she had voluntarily accepted a provisional suspension, under FINA's doping code, until her case is heard by the FINA Doping Tribunal.

A statement from the Australian Swimmers' Association said Palmer had tested positive in Barcelona to a ''minute trace of a prohibited substance'' which it did not name. It said ''recent'' testing of the ''B'' sample also came back positive.

FINA said in a statement on Thursday that although initial tests of Palmer's samples were negative, subsequent testing showed ''low levels of the prohibited substance.''

It said its doping tribunal ''expressed concerns about proceeding with the case given the low levels of the prohibited substance detected, the absence of this substance in a subsequent test, the absence of any other prohibited substance in the samples.''

But FINA said the World Anti-Doping Agency asked for more information on Palmer's case in February, and after an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, requested the court to ''bring forward'' the original anti-doping case.

At Barcelona in 2013, Palmer won a 4x200 freestyle relay silver medal with Bronte Barratt, Brittany Elmslie and Alicia Coutts. Her and her teammates' medals could be in jeopardy depending on the findings of the FINA tribunal.

''Kylie has been endeavoring to investigate how this arose, a task that is almost impossible given the extraordinary passage of time,'' ASA general manager, former Olympic swimmer Daniel Kowalski, said in a statement on Palmer's behalf. ''Kylie categorically denies knowingly taking any prohibited substance in Barcelona in July 2013 or at any time in her career.''

Swimming Australia chief executive Mark Anderson said Thursday that ''we have been concerned about the length of time that it's taken, and we've expressed our concern to FINA.''

''This event did occur back in 2013, so we are all very mindful of the difficulties that creates for all parties,'' he added.

The 25-year-old Palmer hopes to compete in her third Olympics in Rio de Janeiro next year.

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