Investigator to search for Thorpe leak - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Investigator to search for Thorpe leak

By Philip Henderson 02/04/2007 08:44:46 PM Comments (0)

The hunt for who leaked Ian Thorpe's doping test result is set to intensify with the sport's governing body to hire an investigator and Australia's swimming chief pointing the finger at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

As Grant Hackett and Libby Lenton expressed both their support and sympathy for Thorpe's plight, Swimming Australia chief executive Glenn Tasker left no doubt as to who he believed leaked the former swimmer's confidential test to French newspaper L'Equipe.

"I certainly do believe that something has happened in Europe, where as soon as the information was sent to CAS, that seems to be where the leak has occurred," Tasker told the Nine Network.

He later backed up his claim by telling reporters: "CAS is based in Europe, L'Equipe is based in Paris.

"Maybe it is a long bow, but it just seems to me that if one journalist releases a story about (cyclist) Lance Armstrong, then a similar story about Ian Thorpe ...

"He wouldn't have got the Lance Armstrong story from ASADA (the Australian Sport Anti-Doping Authority), he wouldn't have gotten the Lance Armstrong story from (world swimming governing body) FINA. I hope I haven't said anything bad there."

Tasker said FINA would soon hire an investigator to track down the leak, but added there was little chance it would have originated from ASADA.

"There was an issue last year with the AFL, and ASADA had a complete review of all of their processes and systems then, and they were found to be absolutely watertight, so I don't think it was ASADA at all," said Tasker.

Thorpe has vowed to track down and possibly prosecute the person or organisation that leaked his adverse analytical finding in a doping test

L'Equipe broke the story at the weekend, reporting a urine sample Thorpe had given last May had returned unusual levels of testosterone and luteinizing hormone (LH).

The adverse analytical finding to the naturally-produced substances does not constitute a positive test but swimming's world governing body FINA has sought clarification of it through CAS.

Tasker said he was concerned by the time it took for ASADA to proceed with the case, and has urged FINA, ASADA and CAS to clear up the matter as soon as possible.

"They really need to put this to bed as soon as possible. We will be basically having weekly contact with ASADA and FINA to encourage them to do that."

Olympic champion Hackett expressed sorrow Thorpe's reputation had been tarnished.

"I think any sort of allegations or speculation are untrue and pretty much unfair," Hackett said.

"We're certainly all on his side and we obviously want to see him cleared.

"I just feel sorry for the guy that he needs to go through this process after such a stellar career."

Lenton, who had to endure speculation about her own performances and impressive physique last year, agreed.

"I think it's not a very nice thing to go through," said Lenton, who pocketed five gold medals at the World Championships in Melbourne.

"It's an unnecessary cloud that's hanging over his head ... for no real reason at all.

"We obviously support him and believe in him, and hope that everything is cleared and everyone can move on.

"I don't think the general public buys into things that are said by certain media. I think everyone believes in him, and he's one of the greatest swimmers of all time."

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