A Canadian swimmer has said she was drugged at a recent world championship event in Budapest, which left her with a concussion and a sprained rib.
Mary-Sophie Harvey said on her Instagram account that she was drugged on the last night while celebrating in the Hungarian capital and that there was a “four to six o’clock window that I can’t remember anything about”.
The sport’s international governing body Fina said it would launch an investigation into the incident, calling the allegations “disturbing” and saying it was “deeply concerned” for Harvey’s well-being.
Harvey, 22, swam at the Tokyo Olympics last year and won a bronze medal in the relay at the world championship.
But in a post on Instagram, the swimmer went public with a personal account of the incident that left her looking for answers.
“On the last night of the World Championships, I was drugged,” she wrote, posting photos of several bruises on her body.
“At that moment I was not aware of what was going on inside me, I only remember waking up the next morning completely lost; with our team manager and doctor at my bedside… All I can say is this: I’ve never been so ashamed,” she wrote, adding that in addition to the support of friends and family, she also had feelings of judgment.
After she traveled back to Canada, her mother noticed that she looked different.
“It felt like the body I was in was not mine” [it still feels this way]† I came home and found a dozen bruises on my body,” she wrote. “Some of my friends told me afterwards to carry me while I was unconscious and that probably explained why.”
Harvey was treated in hospital by doctors and psychologists and said she was “lucky” to come out of the incident with a sprained rib and a concussion.
“Unfortunately, these events are happening more than we think. A dangerously increasing number of cases have been reported over the years, but they are still not talked about enough. The resources for victims are still difficult to find and the judgment of outsiders is still very much present. For anyone reading this, please be careful. I thought I was safe, that it would never happen to me, especially if I was surrounded by friends. But it did.”
Swimming Canada said in a statement that it was aware of “an incident” during the competition.
“Once team personnel were notified, Mary received excellent medical treatment from our on-site team physician and was allowed to travel home.”
Harvey wrote that she is trying her best to focus on the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England, where she will compete this summer.
“I’m still afraid to think about the unknown things of that night,” she wrote. “I’m still ashamed of what happened in a way, and I think I always will be… But I won’t let this event define me.”