BERN, Switzerland (AP) – Triathlete Brigitte McMahon, who won Switzerland’s only gold medal at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, tested positive for EPO last month.

The test was done at her home June 6 and the banned performance-enhancing hormone was detected in her initial sample, the Swiss Olympic Association said Friday.

McMahon said she started taking small amounts of EPO in May because she was getting divorced and caring for her three small children.

“One of my consultants suggested I should take EPO in small doses for therapeutic reasons and said it wouldn’t show up in a test,” McMahon said at a news conference. “And then I made the worst possible decision and took this drug.”

McMahon refused to name the adviser.

“I relied on the advice of experts, and now I don’t know why,” said McMahon, who holds a degree in biochemistry.

Werner Bhend, president of the Swiss Olympic Association, said her punishment would be decided by next week but that she was being kicked off the national team.

McMahon finished 10th in the women’s triathlon at the Athens Olympics.


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