BRISBANE, Australia, December 23. AUSTRALIAN Olympian Dawn Fraser might be happy with the direction of Swimming Australia overall, but she delivered a stiff verbal jab at the Stilnox Six in an interview with the AAP recently.
“I was a bit disappointed in the fines the boys got for taking drugs,” Fraser told AAP. “They should have been given a two-year ban because I think the only way you learn your lesson is if you get a ban. Swimming has been such a clean sport, to have those [expletive deleted] do that to the sport.”
Those are some pretty harsh words from the four-time Olympic gold medalist who is seen as one of the pantheon of swimmers from out of Australia.
As a refresher, the members of Australia’s 400-meter freestyle relay team at the 2012 London Olympics all took part in hazing and pranks that included usage of the banned sleeping drug Stilnox. The squad was heavily favored to win the event in London, but missed the podium completely. The relay members wound up paying undisclosed fines and had bans suspended. The members of the relay could wind up being banned from the 2016 Rio Games if they have enough slip up.
Fraser has had behavior issues herself, drawing a 10 year ban by Swimming Australia after stealing a flag from Emperor Hirohito’s palace during the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. Swimming Australia later reduced the suspension to allow her to vie for the 1968 Olympics, but Fraser was unprepared to make a comeback at 31.
In her interview, Fraser did support Swimming Australia’s new direction with John Bertrand as the new president and Jacco Verhaeren as the new head coach.
“I think the future of swimming is looking good now,” Fraser said. “I think the kids are trying to prove (to) the rest of Australia that they’ve turned the corner. I think they’ve learned a big lesson out of what happened over in London and prior to that there was a few eggheads in the team and I’m sure that’s not going to happen any more.”