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Australian Swimmer Fails Drug Test

February 12, 1996

BRISBANE, Australia (AP) _ Australian swimmer Samantha Riley, a leading contender for this year’s Atlanta Olympics, failed a drug test, the sport’s domestic governing body confirmed Monday.

Australian Swimming said swimming’s international governing body, FINA, was investigating a positive drug test involving a headache tablet taken by Riley, the world record holder in the 100-meter breaststroke.

Riley tested positive at the world short course championships in Rio de Janeiro late last year.

She was not immediately available for comment, but her coach Scott Volkers said Riley apparently had taken headache medication that contained an illegal component.

``It was certainly nothing performance-enhancing,″ Volkers said.

``(It was) inadvertently taken, that’s about all I can comment on,″ Volkers said. ``There is nothing to hide.″

Volkers said Riley was ``totally not at fault″ over the incident.

Riley, 23, won three gold medals and set two records at the Rio meet in December.

``Riley took the tablet, containing the substance dextropropoxyphene after complaining of a headache during the opening ceremony two days before her swim,″ according to a press release issued by Australian Swimming.

Dextropropoxyphene is a narcotic analgesic and is listed under category 1b on the International Olympic Committee’s banned drugs list.

Australian Swimming executive director Vena Murray said FINA had met on the matter and Australian Swimming was awaiting the outcome of its investigation.

``We cannot comment any further until notification is received from FINA,″ she said.

It was not immediately known what sanctions Riley may face. Any ban would be likely to rule her out of the Atlanta Olympics.

Riley has scheduled a news conference in Brisbane on Tuesday.

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