Alexa
  • Directory of Taiwan

L'Equipe: Thorpe showed 'abnormal levels' of banned substances

L'Equipe: Thorpe showed 'abnormal levels' of banned substances

Five-time Olympic gold medalist swimmer Ian Thorpe showed "abnormal levels" of two banned substances in a doping test last year, the French sports daily L'Equipe reported on its Web site Friday.
Anti-doping officials in Australia threw out the case for lack of scientific proof, but the sport's governing body FINA wants the investigation reopened, the paper said.
Thorpe retired in November at age 24. He did not compete in another major international meet after the 2004 Olympics.
L'Equipe said Thorpe turned up irregular levels of testosterone and luteinizing hormone in a test on May 2006.
Synthetic versions of testosterone, the male hormone, can act like steroids to improve performance. Luteinizing hormone is released by the pituitary gland and produces testosterone in men.
FINA has appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, the highest tribunal in the sports world, to overturn a decision by Australia's anti-doping agency to close the case, L'Equipe said.
CAS secretary-general Matthieu Reeb did not answer messages from The Associated Press left at his home and the court's headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland.
An official at FINA's headquarters, also in Lausanne, said she could not comment because all of the organization's senior officials were in Melbourne, Australia, for the world swimming championships.
The news broke in the middle of the night in Melbourne. FINA president Mustapha Larfaoui was scheduled to speak at a news conference there Saturday.
FINA officials in Melbourne said early Saturday the news conference with Larfaoui was already scheduled before the Thorpe newspaper reports came out.
Calls to Thorpe's manager, Sydney, Australia-based Dave Flaskas, were not immediately returned.
Ian Hanson, a spokesman for Australian Swimming Inc., said Saturday in Melbourne that Australian officials would hold a meeting later in the day to discuss the report.
"We are looking to get together to discuss these claims, to discuss all the facts," said Hanson. "We were only informed a short time ago."
Thorpe won five Olympic gold medals, 11 world titles and set 13 long-course records and 23 overall in his career.
At the 2000 Sydney Olympics, he won the 400-meter freestyle and was part of Australia's winning 400 and 800-meter relay teams. He also took silver in the 200 freestyle and 400 medley relay.
At the 2004 Athens Games, Thorpe won the 200 and 400 freestyle golds and the 100 bronze. He also took a silver in the 800 freestyle relay.
Thorpe followed the Sydney Olympics with his greatest performance ever. At age 18, he became the first swimmer to win six gold medals at the world championships, claiming three individual titles and taking part in three relay victories in 2001 at Fukuoka, Japan.
Thorpe set world records in all three of his solo wins: the 200, 400 and 800 freestyles. He also was part of the record-setting Australian team in the 800 free relay.
Thorpe still holds the world mark in the 400, which he took even lower at the 2002 Commonwealth Games. His 800 mark was claimed in 2005 by countryman Grant Hackett, while the 200 record fell this week to American Michael Phelps at the worlds in Melbourne.