Report: Kayak gold medalist faces doping inquiry
Oct. 12, 2014
BRISBANE, Australia (AP) — Australian Canoeing says London Olympics kayak gold medalist Tate Smith has been provisionally suspended pending an investigation by the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority.
Chief executive Greg Doyle issued a statement Sunday saying Australian Canoeing is aware of media reports about Smith, who was a member of the Australian team that won the K4 event in London in 2012.
If Smith is found guilty of breaching the World Anti-Doping Agency code, he would reportedly become the first Australian gold medalist to be banned for using performance-enhancing drugs.
Brisbane's Courier Mail newspaper said the 32-year-old Smith tested positive for a banned substance during a training camp in Hungary in July. The newspaper said Smith could lose his London medal and faces a two-year ban which would prevent him defending his title in Rio de Janiero.
The Courier Mail quoted a spokesperson as saying the Australian Olympic Committee is "aware of the investigation and we are following it closely."
The newspaper said Smith had not returned its phone calls and ASADA had issued a statement saying it was unable to discuss operational matters.
Doyle said Australian Canoeing "is unable to make any comment in relation to matters involving ASADA, in order to protect the integrity of the process and provide confidentiality to those involved."
"We are, however, able to confirm that Mr Smith has been provisionally suspended until such time as matters are formally determined," he said.
"AC would like to reassure all members that it is working closely with ASADA to ensure that the proper process is applied to every person potentially affected by this matter."
Smith teamed with Dave Smith, Murray Stewart and Jacob Clear to win the K4 at the Eton Dorney rowing venue near London. The Courier Mail said Olympic drug testers will conduct a retrospective analysis of samples provided by Smith in London and could strip the entire Australian crew of their medals if irregularities are found concerning Smith.
The newspaper said drug tests carried out on Smith in London had proved clear but will be re-examined.
Nathan Baggaley, a sprint canoeist who won two silver medals at the 2004 games in Athens, was banned for two years in 2005 after testing positive for the banned steroids stanozolol and methandienone.