Paralympic swimmer Frederiksen keen for big-stage return
2nd July 2011 - BBC Sport
Paralympic champion Heather Frederiksen has more than just winning medals on her mind ahead of this week’s IPC European Swimming Championships in Berlin.
But things started to go wrong for her at the 2009 European Championships in Iceland when she suffered a severe asthma attack after one of her races.
I understand the rules but it was something I had to do to save my life.
Although Frederiksen had been cleared to use her asthma inhaler, the levels of the drug found in her body were higher than those permitted for medical reasons.
"Salbutamol is a drug which helps asthmatics and it needs to be taken in chronic situation and the situation in Iceland was a chronic one. I could possibly have died if I hadn't taken my inhaler," she said.
"It was a situation where I did what I had to do to save my life and I would do it again. I was having an asthma attack and I couldn't breathe. I was in fear for my life.
"Hopefully people will see it was a potential life or death situation. I know I'm not a cheat and I know I can go into a pool with a clear conscience knowing I didn't take something I wasn't supposed to take.
"When I heard about the ban I was devastated because I knew I hadn't taken anything I shouldn't have. I understand the rules but it was something I had to do to save my life."