Thorpe's name clean


AUSTRALIA'S retired swimming great Ian Thorpe thanked his many supporters after he was yesterday cleared of doping allegations by the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority.

ASADA chairman Richard Ings told a news conference that investigations had confirmed Thorpe, the country's most decorated Olympian, had not committed an offence.

"The evidence available does not indicate the use of performance enhancing substances by Mr Thorpe and that he has no case to answer," Ings said."ASADA considers the matter closed."

The 24-year-old underwent a random drug test taken in May last year before his retirement that showed unusually high levels of testosterone and leutenising hormone.

ASADA then conducted a further test in which it found the increased levels were naturally occurring and it dismissed the case.

But world swimming governing body FINA sought intervention from the Court of Arbitration for Sport to have the matter reopened after it was raised by French newspaper L'Equipe in March.

Earlier this month Thorpe presented ASADA with evidence and records in a bid to explain why he returned abnormal levels.

Thorpe, who was at his home in the Hollywood Hills in the United States, issued a statement yesterday welcoming the result.

"My reputation as a fair competitor in swimming is the thing I value most," he said.

"I have been deeply touched by all the messages I've received from Australians and people all over the world who let me know they believed in me.

"I would especially like to thank my family and friends, who have stood by me. I would also like to thank the swimming fraternity and athletes from all sports who have supported me.

"I have always been, and remain, a strong supporter of anti-doping testing. I firmly believe drugs have no place in sport. I took my obligations to comply with the anti-doping codes very seriously and prided myself on this."

Ings said ASADA had reached its conclusion after seeking expert medical and scientific opinion from the Australian Sports Drug Medical Advisory Committee, the World Anti-Doping Agency, accredited laboratories in Australia and Canada and the ANZAC Research Institute in Sydney who were unanimous that there had been no use of performance enhancing substances.

"While the matter has taken some time to resolve, ASADA was absolutely determined to ensure that the results of our examination would leave no room for doubt."

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