Swimming Australia has released an official statement following the report that 3 of its high-profile athletes face possible competition bans due to a series of absences for routine, out-of-competition drug testing. As detailed on May 6th, Olympic silver medalist in the women’s 200m butterfly, Maddie Groves, and fellow Rio teammates Thomas Fraser-Holmes and open water swimmer Jarrod Poort are all named by The Daily Telegraph as having missed 3 drug tests over a 12-month period, violating testing protocols.
Swimming Australia Limited (SAL) had already confirmed that it had ‘recently been informed by ASADA and FINA that members of the Australian Dolphins Swim team may have failed to update their whereabouts appropriately over the previous 12-month period.’ Their official statement includes quotes from CEO Mark Anderson indicating that,“Both Swimming Australia and our athletes have been very clear on our position in relation to anti-doping both here in Australia and internationally.
“The Australian Dolphins Swim Team has worked hard to develop a culture of professionalism and respect. Part of that professionalism is ensuring each athlete is accountable and responsible for accurately providing their locations so testers can access them when required. It is extremely disappointing if this has not occurred as it should.”
You can read the remainder of the official SAL statement below.
Under ASADA and FINA rules, Swimming Australia is unable to announce details on any individual swimmers who may have failed to update their whereabouts appropriately until ASADA and FINA have completed their process.
It was disappointing that the information had been leaked before the relevant organisations had concluded the matters under a thorough and fair process for all involved.
Mr Anderson said he had presented to the Australian Dolphins team following the completion of the selection trials in Brisbane in April and reinforced that it was the responsibility of every individual athlete to keep their details up to date.
“While we understand and appreciate that athletes need some down time and a break following a long four-year Olympic campaign, I have very clearly and very strongly reminded our team that you can never switch off from ensuring your whereabouts is accurate. As an athlete it is a non-negotiable – you must be available for testing every single day of the four-year cycle.
“We have and we will continue to support our athletes through this process but for all athletes, this is a timely reminder about the seriousness of ensuring the information you provide is correct and current. You may be out of training but you are never off-limits.”