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Aussie coach urges Palmer to swim on

  • Aussie coach urges Palmer to swim on

    Coach Jacco Verhaeren hopes to see unlucky Olympic champ Kylie Palmer back in the pool again.

Retirement may be an option for Kylie Palmer after the Olympic swimming champion emerged from a doping test saga, only to have her Rio chances dashed by a hand injury.

But Australian coach Jacco Verhaeren hopes to see the 26-year-old Palmer in the pool again.

Verhaeren admitted he had rarely seen an athlete dogged by such bad luck after Palmer pulled out of next week's Rio trials in Adelaide due to a hand gash.

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Palmer was finally cleared last December to prepare for Rio after emerging from a much publicised doping drama that dragged on for more than two years.

A month later she cut her hand in a knife accident and was told she would only be sidelined for a fortnight.

However, surgery revealed that she had cut the tendon to her thumb and a whopping two months of rehabilitation was required, sabotaging her trials preparation.

"It's definitely a case of how much bad luck can you have," Verhaeren said.

"First there was the (doping) case and finding herself in between two organisations who were not agreeing on the exact approach.

"That was a rough time for her.

"And now on top of that an injury."

But Verhaeren hoped he had not seen the last of the 2008 Beijing 4x200m relay gold medallist.

"I hope she can make up her mind on what she wants to do with her career," he said.

"Because she could still be competitive in future seasons.

"But it is very unfortunate that happened."

Palmer tested positive to "minute" levels of a banned diuretic at the 2013 world championships but was not notified until April 2015.

Despite denying taking any performance-enhancing drugs, Palmer voluntarily accepted a provisional suspension - ruling her out of the 2015 world titles in Russia - while governing body FINA investigated the matter.

FINA announced last September that Palmer would only be issued with a reprimand and a warning, although that decision was still the subject of a World Anti Doping Authority appeal.

Palmer finally set her sights on Rio after WADA opted not to appeal her FINA reprimand last December - then disaster struck.

"She definitely ran out of time to prepare herself," Verhaeren said of Palmer's hand injury.

"That combined with the emotional stress that these (doping) cases no doubt bring with them, you've got to feel sorry for her."

Palmer has taken a few months off to assess her future.

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