Australian Swimmers Silenced From Voicing Concerns Over Chinese

As a follow-up to the report that elite Australian swimmers were voicing concerns about training alongside Chinese athletes at their home pools, the Swimming Australia organization has reportedly issued an ordinance to its members regarding publicly speaking out on the topic.

Earlier this week, we reported how some high-profile Australian swimmers have complained about sharing their training facilities with a number of Chinese athletes who have moved their training bases to Australia. News down under indicated that there is “a growing chorus of Australian swimmers who are fed up with having to train alongside their Chinese rivals, some of whom have been suspended or suspected of doping.”

Thomas Fraser-Holmes and Olympic icon Grant Hackett were just two Australian swimmers who were questioning the strictness of the doping program monitoring the Chinese athletes training in their home nation. Hackett said, “I just want everyone to be tested equally. I get tested a lot.”

The subsequent wrist-slapping by Swimming Australia aimed at muffling such comments came via an official order, which The Daily Telegraph conveyed as the following:

“Speak only about yourself; about your own performances and your own journey and not about any other issues surrounding the sport. Respect your rivals. Avoid speaking negatively about your opposition; whether domestically or internationally. Be mindful of issues that can have far-reaching effects. Avoid commenting on any issue that may reflect poorly on yourself, your coach, your program, Swimming Australia and its sponsors or future sponsors and partners.”

Although there’s no official word on current Olympic hopefuls’ response to the decree, retired four-time Olympic gold medalist Libby Trickett sounded off that limiting what athletes can and can’t say is not in the best interest of the sport.

“It’s important to say that as a country we don’t stand for this and that every athlete should be subjected to the same amount of testing that we are,” Trickett said.

“I understand that our sport has been trying to recover its reputation as a wholesome and clean sport [since London 2012]. I can understand why they are trying to throw water on the fire — but this is an important issue and the reality is each athlete is an individual who has their own perspective and views on things.”

“As current athletes we have every right to expect that foreign athletes are treated as we are,” Trickett said. “I think that is imperative to the sport going forward — it is reasonable to expect equality when it comes to the number of drug tests they undergo.”

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Shanmac

Well said Libby Trickett.

John

What she said was OK until she lost credibility with the insertion of the meaningless phrase “going forward” which makes anyone sound like a buffoon.

Alex Gibson

I have it from absolutely the most reliable govenment sources that there is no question but that the Chinese were doping using natural hormones extracted from human cadavers leading up to several Olympics in the past. Unfortunately, since hormones extracted from human bodies, unlike synthetic hormones, are exactly the same chemically as the ones naturally produced by an athlete’s own body it is extremely difficult to prove or disprove this type of doping. One can only hope that governing bodies of Chinese athletics have decided to end the practice.

swimdoc

“The most reliable government sources” is an oxymoron.

DDias

Even if what you are telling is the truth, the problem is never the source.Is the LEVEL(quantity) of a given substance in your body.There are some ways to mask a consistent and systemic doping taking just under the max of a given substance per day (the famous cat off). A lot of ‘good guys’ never were caught doing that, because they are within WADA rules when tested.

Gina

Congrats for getting cadavers in there! it always lightens up a story. It appears to me that you would have to take anti rejection drugs or imagine the bad mood you would be in if your “hormones” went on a rampage ! Frankenstein !

Things could really go wild , say before a 1500m .

NEWTOSWIMSWAM

If you have “reliable sources” and real evidence of doping, stop hiding in the comment section of swimswam and go public with your claim. A lot of us would love to see the evidence and appreciate your effort. The fact you are not doing it shows your sources and motive are questionable.

Double Dipping Denis?

The real question is why Grant and Thomas spoke in the first place. It is just a few months out to the Olympics – why rock the boat? Isn’t the true issue here that the swimmers don’t trust their coach? Not only do they have in the back of their minds that the Chinese are potentially doping, they also are concerned that their coach is training them. It is common practice for international squads to come and train in Australia. It is an accepted method of getting the best out of the athletes. The difference here is the conflict of interest. There are concerns about the integrity of the chinese athletes. There are concerns that Grant and Thomas’ coach has… Read more »

About Loretta Race

Loretta Race

After 16 years at a Fortune 1000 financial company, long-time swimmer Retta Race decided to change lanes and pursue her sporting passion. She currently is Coach for the Northern KY Swordfish Masters, a team she started up in December 2013, while also offering private coaching. Retta is also an MBA …

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