The following is a transcript of a statement read by former Australian swimmer Ian Thorpe on Sunday in response to the allegations that drug tests showed unusually high levels of naturally-occurring testosterone.
“Yesterday (Saturday, March 31) at 8 am I was contacted by a representative of Swimming Australia to tell me that there was a report on the website of the French newspaper L’Equipe that a doping test that I had undertaken had returned an unusual level of testosterone and a hormone, and that there had been proceedings in the Court of Arbitration for Sport between ASADA and FINA in relation to the test.
This as you will appreciate was a complete shock to me. I had no previous knowledge of any result of this kind and I did not understand how a test result that supposedly related to me, which must have been undertaken some time ago given my retirement, could be being leaked to a French newspaper when I did not know about it.
I was subsequently contacted by and met with ASADA who advised me and I can now confirm the following:
*A test that was undertaken in May 2006 while I was in Australia returned unusual levels of testosterone and a hormone called leutenising hormone.
*Both these substances are naturally occurring substances.
*There are many innocent physiological and pathological reasons why a test may return unusual levels of these substances.
*ASADA were in the process of writing to me to get further medical information from me as part of their routine results management process when the story appeared on the L’Equipe website.
*ASADA will in the near future be sending me a letter seeking this information.
ASADA were at pains to reassure me that I have not failed a drug test and they made it clear to me that any suggestion that is being made to this effect is just plain wrong.
They said that the sending of the letter is just part of their routine processes.
I have made it clear to ASADA that I will co-operate fully with ASADA in providing it with the information that it is seeking.
I have complete confidence that all the medical and scientific evidence will establish that I am clean.
I have always been, and remain, a strong supporter of the drug testing system.
Most people will probably recognise that I have been one of the most tested athletes.
I also launched the Athlete’s Passport and I have provided blood samples to be frozen for future testing in accordance with its procedures.
I firmly believe in clean sport and I stated my position publicly on many occasions – sometimes to my detriment with officials.
I have never cheated and have always complied with my obligations under the anti-doping codes to the letter. I have prided myself on this and my reputation as a fair competitor is the most valuable thing that I take out of my time in swimming.
This is why I find the media speculation that I have cheated to be so upsetting. I am deeply alarmed that information about my test result was leaked to the press before I was informed of it.
The press receiving this information before an athlete jeopardises the whole integrity of the testing process.
What is even more troubling is that the test result is one for which I understand there are many innocent explanations.
The obligations of confidentiality that are owed to me under the WADA Code are meant to protect the reputations of innocent people from being damaged by media speculation while the routine results management processes are being undertaken.
I have been deprived of this protection by the deliberate act of the person who leaked this information.
I can only speculate at the motives of the person or persons responsible.
I would like to finish by thanking the many people, including many past team-mates and competitors of my mine, who have offered me their support, both publicly and privately at this time.
I was particularly gladdened by the support I have received from members of the public on this issue and I am very grateful for it.
I would also like to than Swimming Australia for its support, in particular Glenn Tasker and Neil Martin.”