As reported back in May of this year, 3 Australian Olympians were named as having missed 3 drug tests over a 12-month period, violating doping control testing protocols. The athletes included silver medalist in the women’s 200m butterfly from Rio, Maddie Groves, and fellow Olympic teammates Thomas Fraser-Holmes and open water swimmer Jarrod Poort.
We’ve since reported how Fraser-Holmes was handed a 12-month ban by swimming governing body, FINA, and was also cut-off both financially and training-wise from the Australian National Team. The swimmer is in the process of appealing his ban.
Swimming Australia has now confirmed that Poort has also accepted a 12-month anti-doping suspension for his whereabouts violations. The sanction was imposed on Poort by Swimming Australia following a recommendation by the Australian Sport Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) CEO under the terms of the National Anti-Doping scheme. Poort’s suspension began on September 5th of this year and will conclude on September 5th in 2018, thereby taking the athlete out of contention for 2018 Commonwealth Games participation.
Swimming Australia CEO, Mark Anderson said, “We fully support all anti-doping policies and our athletes understand that the rules in place to ensure that all athletes must be available for testing at their designated location and time are a very important element of anti-doping policies.”
“The Australian Dolphins Swim Team has worked hard to develop a culture of professionalism and respect within the team. Part of that professionalism is ensuring each athlete is accountable and responsible for accurately providing their locations so testers can access them when required and it is extremely disappointing that this has not occurred as it should have.
“Both Swimming Australia and our athletes have been very clear on our position both here in Australia and internationally. Jarrod has taken responsibility for his filing errors and we continue to work with and support Jarrod as best we can to support him through this process. Jarrod has accepted responsibility and understands the impacts of his actions. Whilst clearly this is a very disappointing situation for Jarrod and swimming, we need to reiterate that this is not a positive result and his ownership and acceptance of the situation is admirable.”
Under the terms of the Anti-Doping Policy, for the duration of the sanction Poort will not be able to:
- compete in any Swimming Australia sanctioned events, nor the events of other organisations that would be considered to be at a similar level, nor other sports.
- receive funding from Swimming Australia or the Australian Institute of Sport
- train in any Swimming Australia funded programs.
- participate in or attend any Swimming Australia training camps
- be involved in sport in any type of administrator role (eg coach, volunteer, manager etc).
The 22-year-old Olympian Poort stated, “At the end of the day people make mistakes and that’s what I did. It was remiss of me to neglect a management system that must be shown the full respect it deserves and it is a very embarrassing situation to now be in.
“The Whereabouts system is one of the tools that aids in keeping legitimacy in the sport that myself and so many others love and spend so much time in, and as such it needs to be treated with precision and respect.
“Dealing with, and getting my head around the whole situation that has been ongoing since February has been a very tough period of time for myself. At times, I wasn’t myself; however I’ve had some great friends and family around to help support and navigate me through it all.
“Now, facing one year ineligibility for this, from the sport and a way of life I’ve dedicated so much to over the past years, it has been a very tough pill to swallow, however I’ve chose to accept and respect the situation.
“A mentor that I look up to recently said to me – “Simply wanting or yearning for a new way will not produce it, you need to end the old way(s) first.”
Poort continued, “So, I am taking this in my stride, learning from it, then putting it behind me and turning the year of ineligibility into a learning tool for becoming “Jarrod who can also swim” and not just “Jarrod the swimmer”, and focussing on some of my other life aspirations.
Groves now remains as the final case to be determined of the 3 Australians.