Swimming: Smith under pressure on drug testing

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Michelle Smith, who won three gold medals and a bronze for Ireland at the Atlanta Olympics, is one "no-show" away from a possible four-year ban for failing to make herself available for drug testing.

Smith, whose Olympic performances provoked allegations of drug use, was absent when a team of drug testers turned up at her home in Ireland four months ago, the sport's world governing body confirmed yesterday.

While stressing that Smith had not yet violated its rules, the international federation, Fina, warned that a second no-show could result in a four- year ban. "The rules state that two no-shows is considered a violation and you may be sanctioned," Fina's director, Cornel Marculescu, said.

Smith's agent, John Gibbons, said the swimmer was in the United States to receive an award at the time of the drug testers' visit in October, and said Smith did submit to the test a few days later.