The Australian Swimmers Association is seeking answers as to whether or not its members were targeted in a ‘post-Olympics drug-testing blitz’ that rendered one Olympian suspended for 12 months and two others with pending cases hanging over their heads.
Over a three-month period, all athletes must provide an hour-long time-slot when they can be tested by FINA and ASADA drugs testers unannounced. Missing a test counts as one strike, and three strikes within 12 months can lead to a two-year ban from sport. Commonwealth Games Champion and Rio Olympic finalist Thomas Fraser-Holmes was cited as having missed 3 drug tests in a 12-month period, resulting in his being banned from competition for 12 months.
Olympic silver medalist Madeline Groves and open water swimmer Jarrod Poort are reportedly in the same boat in terms of having missed tests due to whereabouts confusion, however, no punishment has yet been handed down to the pair.
Prior to the 3 aforementioned athletes, the Australian aquatics team has reportedly never experienced missing whereabouts cases before, leading ASA Executive Director Daniel Kowalski to submit a series of questions pertaining to the situation to Swimming Australia, the WADA and FINA Athletes Commission. (The Australian)
Kowalski said the swimmers accepted that being available for drug-testing was “first and foremost their responsibility’’. However, he wants to make sure that Aussie athletes were not being pinpointed in these situations.
“We want to ensure that we aren’t being targeted in this,’’ Kowalski said. “We want to know what the numbers were on whereabouts testing post-Rio compared with post-London and we want to make sure that the testers have followed the correct protocol.’’ (The Australian)