The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority says it has followed international rules in a process which has effectively ruined the Olympic Games dreams of Canberra boxer Bianca Elmir.
The 30-year-old national flyweight champion tested positive to two diuretics, both which are on the World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List, at the Australian titles in Hobart in February.
Elmir has told ASADA she took a tablet which contained the two substances to combat swelling in her ankles for long flights.
Elmir appealed her provisional suspension but the decision was upheld, with the length of her ban to be determined at a full hearing of the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
The suspension prevented Elmir from competing at this month’s world championships in China, which doubles as a qualifier for the London Olympic Games.
In a statement, ASADA said it had followed all rules and procedures set out by the National Anti-Doping Scheme.
‘‘ASADA today confirmed media reports that Australian boxer Bianca Elmir tested positive to the presence of diuretics in her urine sample, which was collected at the Australian Boxing Championships in Hobart on 4 February 2012,’’ the statement said.
‘‘These diuretics, Furosemide and Amiloride are listed as Prohibited Substances both in-competition and out-of-competition, on the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List (2012).
‘‘After investigating the matter in accordance with the process set out in legislation, ASADA referred this matter to the independent Anti-Doping Rule Violation Panel (ADRVP).
‘‘On 1 May 2012, the ADRVP found there were possible anti-doping rule violations. ‘‘The athlete was advised in writing of the ADRVP finding that same day.
‘‘The correspondence advised the athlete of her appeal rights.
‘‘Boxing Australia, after consulting with ASADA, provisionally suspended the athlete on 7 May 2012 to uphold the integrity of boxing, the World Championships and the Australian Olympic Team.
‘‘The athlete appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) against the provisional suspension; CAS heard the appeal on 9 May 2012.
‘‘The decision to uphold the provisional suspension was handed down on 10 May 2012.’’
A devasted Elmir is being consoled by friends in Thailand as the enormity of the decision sinks in.
Elmir needed to be the highest placed Oceania competitor to book an Olympic Games berth, but her withdrawal allowed New Zealander Siona Von Sasson Fernandez to claim her spot.
A diuretic elevates the rate of urination and can be used by athletes to lose weight rapidly.
It can also act as a masking agent for performance-enhancing substances.