Australian national women’s boxing champion Bianca Elmir, a top Olympic medal prospect, has been banned from competition after failing a doping test, reports said Wednesday.
Her manager Alex Belperio told ABC radio that Elmir tested positive for a banned diuretic during the Australian titles earlier this year where she won the 51kg division.
He said she had swelling in her ankles after a long plane trip from Ireland to Australia and “took (the diuretic) just to try and decrease that ahead of competition, ahead of the nationals that were in Hobart”.
“We were told that a ban had been put against her not long ago,” he said, without revealing how long it was.
Diuretics help rid the body of excess fluids and although banned by the International Olympic Committee have been used by athletes as a performance-enhancing supplement and in the case of boxing, for weight maintenance.
Boxing Australia refused to comment while the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) issued a short statement on its website.
“ASADA is aware of media reports about the athlete Bianca Elmir. In accordance with our legislation ASADA will not provide comment at this time,” it said.
Women’s boxing will debut as a full Olympic sport in London in July.