A Canadian swimmer has said she was drugged at a recent world championship event in Budapest, leaving her with a concussion and rib sprain.
Mary-Sophie Harvey said on her Instagram account that she was drugged on the final night while celebrating in the Hungarian capital and that there was a “four-to-six-hour window where I can’t recall a single thing”.
The sport’s international governing body, Fina, said it would launch an investigation into the incident, calling the allegations “distressing” and said it was “deeply concerned” about Harvey’s wellbeing.
Harvey, 22, swam in last year’s Tokyo Olympics and won a bronze medal in the relay at the world championship.
But in a post to Instagram, the swimmer went public with a personal account of the incident that has left her searching for answers.
“On the last night of the World Championships, I got drugged,” she wrote, posting images of several bruises on her body.
“At the time I wasn’t aware of what got inside of me, I just remember waking up the next morning completely lost; with our team manager and doctor at my bedside … The only thing I can say is this: I’ve never felt more ashamed,” she wrote, adding that in addition to support from friends and family, she had also experienced judgment.
After she travelled back to Canada, her mother remarked that she seemed different.
“It felt like the body I was in, wasn’t mine [it still feels this way]. I got home and found a dozen bruises on my body,” she wrote. “Some of my friends told me afterwards that they had to carry me while I was unconscious and it probably explained why.”
Harvey was treated at the hospital by doctors and psychologists and said she felt “lucky” to emerge from the incident with a rib sprain and concussion.
“Sadly, these events happen more than we think it does. There’s been a dangerous increasing number of cases reported throughout the years but it is still not being talked about enough. The resources for victims are still difficult to find and the judgment from outsiders are still very much present. To anyone reading this, please be careful. I thought I was safe, that it would never happen to me, especially while being surrounded by friends. But it did.”
Swimming Canada said in a statement it was aware of “an incident” during the competition.
“As soon as team staff became aware, Mary received excellent medical treatment from our team physician on site, and was cleared to travel home.”
Harvey wrote she was trying her best to focus on the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England, this summer, where she is slated to compete.
“I’m still scared to think about the unknowns of that night,” she wrote. “I’m still in a way, ashamed of what happened, and I think I always will be … But I won’t let this event define me.”