Has Kylie Palmer Been Caught In A Pincer Movement Of Politics? Urgency Called For

Kylie Palmer [Photo: Aniko Kovacs]

Editorial: The WADA Code – unified approach, harmonisation. Really? Kylie Palmer has good reason to feel that someone rewrote the dictionary while we all slept. Her case should be dealt with with utmost speed and understanding. Anything else would speak to the agenda of blazers not the swimmer caught in a political row

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Editorial: The WADA Code – unified approach, harmonisation. Really? Kylie Palmer has good reason to feel that someone rewrote the dictionary while we all slept. Her case should be dealt with with utmost speed and understanding. Anything else would speak to the agenda of blazers not the swimmer caught in a political row



This is terrible.

Can you imagine if it’s a megastar like Missy or Ledecky caught in such situation?

Personal Best

If that is the case, and WADA is flexing its muscle, then it wasn’t going to be ‘big’ name.

It was going to be an ‘unassuming’ swimmer, from a big swimming country to make enough noise but not to make massive waves.

Or something like that.

Bad Anon

Agree with you personal best. There is definitely a lot more than what meets the eye

Viva la Bang

So what constitutes a positive test? I mean you are either pregnant or you are not? If the experts and labs in 2013 stated no case to answer what has changed?

Craig Lord

Viva, to ensure consistency of measurement amongst doping control laboratories, WADA defines the minimum required performance level (MRPL), which is the concentration of a prohibited substance that laboratories are expected to detect – the last time I looked that was 200ng/mL. We can only assume at this stage that in 2013 the experts found a level they did not think worth pursuing; we can only assume that WADA’s consideration of the paperwork has led them to believe that was not the case and this is a fight worth pressing in a sport where there are several big-profile cases that might seem more obvious targets when it comes to moulding the culture of clean sport. We’ve yet to see any evidence that would provide clear explanation, of course.


This is terrible terrible situation for Palmer.

How on earth did WADA choose to re-test a sample that had minute trace of diuretic that had been thrown off by FINA as a negative after ALMOST TWO YEARS???

I’m sure WADA got a lot more serious offenses to investigate, such as Russia’s documented doping regime?

What’s going on between FINA and WADA?


USAS is pretty consistent in its anti-doping approach. They would have suspended one of their stars for a year and invalidated results upon notification of the ‘insignificant positive’. (Each sporting federation in the USA is very independent from other sporting federation, so what’s going on in track or cycling isn’t really relevant to swimming.)

At which time, FINA, seeing a World Championships without one of its bigger female stars would have pressured USAS to reduce the suspension to a warning before offering the athlete a wildcard entry into the World Championships.

Craig Lord

beachmouse, USAS/equivalent wouldn’t have been informed in this case because it never went beyond the circle of FINA experts and leaders. Had the national anti-doping agency of AUS been informed, so would WADA and it would have been a ‘case’ and would have been taken further.
I think you know this but to be clear for others: there is NO provision for wild-card entry to the world championships in swimming.


But Corny said there was now a wild card entry process, didn’t he? And that Phelps didn’t really have to go through USAS to get to Kazan?

Given the irrational actions of FINA lately and USAS’ general silence on some key issues, I almost wonder if someone in Colorado Springs has been tipped off that the FIFA investigation has bled over into other sports and that USAS is actually playing the long game and waiting for Something Else to happen.

Craig Lord

Mmmm, USAS has not been silent… it has backed the bad stuff … a ship that can and probably will be turned about… we’ll see…
Yes, Corny did indeed say that – without any permission or power to do so … of course


How did Cielo get his case fast tracked, and why was the case allowed to be heard on an expedited basis? Was it because he was at the top of his game, so to speak, and this young woman in on the down side of her career? Was it because Cielo’s event is much sexier than Ms. Palmer’s?

This entire episode stinks. I can’t make heads nor tails of it, but I think it is pay back for something.


there is a lot of things in Cielo case very strange, but in a matter of speed of the case, that s easy:CBDA give him a immediate warning(a month ban), FINA was against(wanted 6months) and went to CAS.

Craig Lord

Yes, that’s the flow DDIas, but I get what applesandoranges is saying: how come CAS moved its court to Shanghai in extra swift time because a decision had to be taken to allow (or not) a world champion to defend a crown? Would such speed have happened for a Swiss relay swimmer? No, it would not… and yet, all should be treated the same under the WADA Code. It will be v interesting to see how long this case takes.


Just one comment. Sun Yang’s medicine was prescribed by an expert panel of four cardiologists from Zhejiang Provincial People’s Hospital. The chief doctor is Qu Baiming, director of the cardiology department. He was also interviewed after Sun’s case. Dr. Ba Zhen technically is not the one who prescribed the medicine.

Craig Lord

Zhen. If that were the case, he would have had no case to answer and presumably would have challenged his suspension. It doesn’t take a panel of experts to diagnose Sun’s condition – but if what you say is true, then the question to the cardiologists in question would be ‘do you think you’ve been negligent allowing this patient to race and train on in world-class waters given his condition’? (pertinent because in some places in the world swimmers have indeed retired or been retired for reasons related) — and another one for the royal panel handling an Olympic champion: ‘did you ever read the WADA Code’?



According to the report I read at that time, the first best remedy is to quit the career. Sun Yang insisted training on and did not want to miss the 08 Olympics. So they need a panel to discuss a second best strategy. Surgery was ruled out in his case and they agreed to use Vasorel (main ingredient is Trimetazidine) and check the condition periodically. My understanding is the condition seemed to be stable.

Dr. Ba Zhen is penalized for his negligence in updating the list of banned drugs for Sun, which I think he deserved the ban.

I do not mean to defend anyone. Personally I think a longer ban for Sun is more appropriate. I just want to point out that Dr. Ba Zhen is just Sun’s personal rehabilitation physician. He is not the one who prescribed the medicine (not likely either).


And I do believe the drug helped his performance, in one way or another, though most of the time legally. I am really eager to see how he performs this summer.

Craig Lord

Thanks Zhen. The information is much appreciated. The lack of transparency in such cases is part of the woe in the anti-doping system. Your explanation of the reason for Ba’s ban makes sense (within a China context) but in international rules there is no specific provision for banning someone on the basis of failing to point out the right rules… a U.S doctor might well have sued them, for instance.

Craig Lord

Thanks Zhen. Do we know what the substitute medicine for his condition is?



You made a good point. I do feel Dr. Ba is to some extent parallel damage or a scapegoat. If they want to give a lenient treatment to Sun, someone else has to take the hard blow. It makes sense under the Chinese system and Dr. Ba certainly is not going to protest.

Dr. Qu mentioned in the interview that there are alternative medicines, but Vasorel was considered the best. So my guess is there could be substitute.


Let us see Sun Yang swim without PED’s. This season he looks a lot slower, and the rest of the field look a lot more competitive.


As for Kylie, she is between a rock and a hard place. The Blazerati are putting her to the sword, knowing that she can’t defend herself. They should be ashamed of themselves.

David Matthew

I think Kylie Palmer has been ‘left out to dry’ by WADA without any ‘natural justice’, can you remember what you ate two years ago?. Australia has been critical of WADA in the recent past and certainly the lack of drug testers turning up to test top swimmers commented on by more than one Australian swimmer. I think that FINA is in need of looking at itself and bringing itself into the 21st Century.

WADA have yet to explain why it has taken almost two years to get to the Palmer case and given that FINA looked at her case and and deemed the case to be closed with no action. I do doubt that had it been someone like Michael Phelps or a similar top swimmer (not that Kylie is not) would have been persued.


This is a statement from WADA director general David Howman, as published by the Sunday Mail today.

FINA have a LOT to answer for in regards to this now…

“WADA has acknowledged FINA’s press release of 18 June regarding the provisional suspension of Australian swimmer Kylie Palmer, who received an in-competition doping control test on 31 July 2013.
“It is important to clarify some details that were omitted from FINA’s announcement. WADA first requested information from FINA on the case on 5 October 2013, with a reminder sent on 4th December 2013 – both were ignored. More than a year then passed before we were informed on 23 December 2014 that the case had been closed. We asked for an explanation of this decision, and in February 2015 we finally received the reasons for the decision. Following a full review, we decided to file an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport with a request that the case be brought forward as an anti-doping rule violation.
“We are pleased that the case is finally moving forward. It is important that results management processes are dealt with efficiently and effectively by all signatories, so that athletes can retain full confidence in the anti-doping system.
“In the meantime, we will refrain from further comment in order to protect the integrity of the case.”

Craig Lord

Thanks v much for bringing that to our attention Todd. Well done.


zhen the drug trimetazidine taken legally may have helped sun yang but I,m not so sure. I think his training has been eratic for some time and it is probable that if he resumes regular training, he may be back to his best. I think he,s slower due to his eratic training not due to no PED,s. After all he has swum a 7:45 or so in the 800 free this year.

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