By a wide margin, Michelle Smith is both the most successful Irish Olympian as well as the most controversial Irish Olympian. After fairly unremarkable appearances at the 1988 and 1992 Olympics, Michelle Smith was now coached by her husband, former Dutch discus thrower Erik de Bruin. She had made a breakthrough at the 1995 European Championships, winning two titles and three medals in all, the first ever for an Irish woman. Her sudden improvement in performance immediately caused various doping rumours, which could not be substantiated. With her husband being suspended for doping use in 1993, these rumours persisted throughout the Atlanta Games, where Smith won four medals, including titles in both medley events and the 400 m freestyle. Her title in the latter event was also controversial because the Americans had lodged a protest claiming Smith had been entered the race after the deadline, but the protest was not upheld. Smith won two more European titles in 1997, before her career came to a sudden halt in January 1998. In an out-of-competition drug test, she handed in a urine sample that had been tampered with. This was considered to be equal to a positive sample, and she was suspended for four years, effectively ending her career.