Australia's Olympic gold medallist Kylie Palmer has been provisionally suspended after she tested positive for a banned substance in 2013, the International Swimming Federation (FINA) has announced.
According to a statement from world swimming’s governing body, Palmer, winner of a gold medal at Beijing 2008 as part of the Australian 4x200 metres freestyle relay team, was found to have “minute traces of a banned substance” in a sample given at the 2013 World Championships in Barcelona.
She has now withdrawn from the upcoming World Aquatics Championships in Kazan while the matter is dealt with.
The 25-year-old from Brisbane has repeatedly denied ever knowingly taking a banned substance and FINA themselves appeared unwilling to act originally due to the amount in question being so small.
The case has been thrust into the limelight, however, after the World Anti-Doping Agency ordered FINA to reopen the case.
Palmer will now face a tribunal hearing to decide if any sanctions should be imposed.
It is understood that Palmer, who was made aware of the positive test in April, still harbours hopes of competing at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
If she is found guilty, though, she be could be stripped of the World Championships silver medal she won in the 4x200m freestyle in Barcelona two years ago.
“Kylie has been endeavouring to investigate how this arose, a task that is almost impossible given the extraordinary passage of time,” Australian Swimmers' Association general manager Daniel Kowalski said in a statement on Palmer’s behalf.
“Kylie categorically denies knowingly taking any prohibited substance in Barcelona in July 2013 or at any time in her career.”
Palmer is a household name in her native Australia following the relay victory in Beijing alongside Bronte Barratt, Linda MacKenzie and Stephanie Rice.
As well as the gold medal at that event and silver in Barcelona, Palmer also claimed two titles at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, winning the 200m freestyle and the 4x200m relay.
“On 16 June 2015, Ms Palmer informed FINA that she accepted voluntary provisional suspension and that she will refrain from competing pending the final resolution of this matter,” the FINA statement read.