Three Australian Olympians Facing Potential Ban for Missed Drug Tests

Photo Courtesy: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

A trio of Australian Olympians could be forced to serve a two-year ban from competition after missing three out-of-competition random doping tests within a one-year period, according to a report from The Daily Telegraph.

The swimmers implicated in the report include Madeline GrovesThomas Fraser-Holmes and Jarrod Poort, all Olympians from the Rio Games. Groves won a silver in the women’s 200 fly in Rio, while Fraser-Holmes barely missed out on a medal as a member of Australia’s 800 free relay team. Poort, meanwhile, swam the 10k open water race and had an enormous lead before fading badly on the last lap.

According to the Telegraph, Groves was cited for her missed test in San Diego, Calif., in the U.S., when drug testers could not find her during the one-hour window in which she said she would be at the facility where she was staying.

Fraser-Holmes explained that he was at his mother’s house one night until about 8:55 p.m. when he realized that he had mostly missed his 8-9 p.m. window — during which time drug testers had come to his house.

While Poort has yet to explain his circumstances to the media, both Groves and Fraser-Holmes have hired lawyer Tim Fuller to represent them in fighting against two-year bans. In comments to the Telegraph, Fuller explained that he felt the circumstances surrounding the potential bans were suspicious.

“It’s interesting that FINA have targeted two athletes who have never returned a positive test for a prohibited substance,” Fuller said. “Seemingly they are going after them for an alleged technical breach.”

Read more from the Daily Telegraph by clicking here.

3 Comments

3 comments

  1. avatar
    EasySolution

    Just give them blood and urine and get it over with.

  2. avatar
    Andrei Vorontsov

    Why “potential ban” – it is a 100% “full Monty”. Equal Justice for all – same rules must be applied as for anybody else without consideration of the flag’s colour. Dura lex- sed lex!
    It is an example of highly unprofessional attitude of swimmers and their team staff.
    One NO SHOW – already is a grave offence, alarm!!! Two NO SHOWS – the last call. TREE NO SHOWS – punushment – good buy!

    • avatar
      commomwombat

      I agree that this is gross unprofessionalism on the part of these three swimmers; and frankly that’s where the buck should stop. Its not the responsibility of their coaches and none of them at the time were in any representative team situation. One (Groves) has been training over in the USA with at least one major squad (SwimMac); one (TFH) has switched coaches post Rio but has not competed at all; have little knowledge of the open water swimmer’s circumstances.

      I would be a little more forgiving when it comes to one-off misses; there are always going to be those unforseen circumstances or emergencies that will throw out your plans/routine for the day in order to deal with the event ….. that’s why there is the leeway of “three strikes”.

      Unless they can provide evidence of some procedural issue on the part of the testers with regards to the testers (ala the Lizzie Armistead case in British Cycling); they should be looking at an enforced holiday. How long … I’m open on that given some of the sentences that have been handed down for actual doping infractions.

      Damage to their careers ….. will vary. It will, of course, mean a shut off of any money from public sources. There isnt much personal sponsorship/commercial $$$ for individual swimmers in AUS these days so little impact there. TFH may well have been planning on retiring next year; this might just bring that forward. Groves…. if its one year then she can be back for next year’s main event (Pan Pacs), 2 years would make it a tight squeeze to make it back for 2019 Worlds

Author: David Rieder

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David Rieder is the host of Swimming World TV and a staff writer for Swimming World. A contributor to the magazine and website since 2009, he has covered the NCAA Championships, U.S. Nationals, Olympic Trials as well as the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio and the 2017 World Championships in Budapest. He is a native of Charleston, S.C., and a 2016 graduate of Duke University.

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