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Banned Napoleon to miss Commonwealth Games

Sydney: Australian swimmer Ryan Napoleon has
been banned from competition for three months and will miss
October`s New Delhi Commonwealth Games, Swimming Australia
(SA) said on Thursday.

SA said it had been informed by the anti-doping agency of
FINA, swimming`s international governing body, that Napoleon,
20, had tested positive for formoterol, a common asthma
medication.

An asthmatic for all, his life, Napoleon took medication
from an inhaler which was incorrectly labelled and he
subsequently tested positive for a banned substance on the
Word Anti-Doping Agency list, SA said in a statement.

"Napoleon has taken the asthma medication pulmicort for
the majority of his life, however on this occasion a pulmicort
inhaler was incorrectly labelled, and was actually symbicort
-- which consists of the banned substance formoterol," SA
said.

The statement said that, in a FINA hearing which was held
via teleconference yesterday, the panel accepted that Napoleon
was not at fault due to a pharmacist`s mistake in incorrectly
labelling the medication.

The panel said that there was no intent to use the banned
substance, permission for which he could have applied, SA
said.

FINA did, however, find that as an elite athlete Napoleon
had a "reduced responsibility" in this matter and should have
been fully aware of the medication he was taking. It therefore
applied the three-month suspension.

The decision means that Napoleon will not be able to
represent Australia in the 400-metre and 1,500-metre freestyle
events in New Delhi, for which he had qualified.

"It`s devastating," Napoleon said in the statement. "It`s
extremely disappointing and something that I have been dealing
with since April this year, when I was first notified that
there was an issue.”

"A mistake was made, and the FINA panel accepted that a
mistake was made ... but as an athlete I still understand that
I have a responsibility to check all my medication
thoroughly."

Napoleon won the 1,500-metre and finished second in the
400-metre freestyle events at last year`s Australian
championships.

Bureau Report

From Zee News

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