Ryan Harrison, the Irish swimmer who has been suspended from competition by his American College team, the University of Tennessee, has insisted that his offence is not related to sports doping.
The national freestyle record holder Harrison was slapped with a suspension for a "violation of team rules". Neither swimmer nor his lawyer Don Bosch nor the college have provided details of the violation, leading to speculation that a substance banned in sports law might have been involved.
In a statement, Harrison stated: "During my time at UT I have never tested positive for any illegal substances and have taken many drug tests for the university, just like any other student athlete."
Peter Banks, Swim Ireland's high performance director and speaking to Irish media from a training camp in Florida, said that the situation would not affect Harrison's chances of racing for Ireland at the London 2012 Olympic Games should he qualify. "I called Ryan when I heard this story and while he didn't elaborate, he insisted that it was purely for a violation of team rules. We also have had no indication of any drug allegations being levelled against Ryan from either FINA or WADA and I'm happy that he has not violated any Swim Ireland rules," said Banks.
Bosch told Irish journalists: "I stand by and confirm his (Harrison's) account of his suspension from the UT swimming program for the balance of the season for a violation of team rules."