Swimming Australia’s Statement On Athlete Whereabouts Violations

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.”

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4 years ago

This Anderson guy is in full not-my-fault mode and I’m more worried today than I was yesterday for the three. Shouldn’t the role of a CEO be to publicly stand beside these swimmers even if the facts are uncomfortable for him?

Reply to  Marley09
4 years ago

Whilst Mr Anderson is usually a CMA (cover my rear end) devotee; I actually cannot throw mud on him for this. He is merely stating the facts that currently are before SAL. There has been a leak to the Murdoch media from somewhere regarding these missed tests before the case has been finalised by ASADA and then presented to SAL & FINA. What has been confirmed to SAL since the leak is that there are cases pending against these 3 swimmers. Not sure that you can just blindly “stand by your swimmers” when you haven’t got the actual formal charges in front of them !!

In any case; we have 3 different swimmers with 3 differing circumstances. Only ONE,… Read more »

4 years ago

IMO a 12 month ban would be appropriate . Whilst I think Australian team members can take time out /off whatever they like there are always consequences . One is that you lose your place & a new swimmer has replaced you , the other is that you lose your cautionary mental state .

We have points deducted for driving infractions & if you have only a few left you become suddenly aware of reading all signs . Then , as Yuliya says , your licence is suspended & then you get it back .

Reply to  G.I.N.A
4 years ago

Whilst I agree with the gist of what you are saying, and would probably go with your 12 month penalty; I’m not sure your scenario of “swimmers on sabbatical” quite fits all of these cases.

It quite possibly DOES fit the TFH situation but Poort IS actively training and competing (was selected for Worlds in open water). Groves is actively training albeit over in the States which means at least some of these tests would’ve been carried out by USADA.

Would the 12 month be considered significant punishment ? In the case of Poort; yes as he would miss Worlds. TFH & Groves on the other hand rules themselves out of Worlds so not on that score. Depending on when… Read more »

Reply to  commomwombat
4 years ago

In his own words as of lare Feb Poort did say he ‘d had a very long break & had only been back a short time .

Sometimes I think , in the light of these parole like requirements , it is better to keep your international career short & concentrate on it rather than try & extend it or swan around trying to make it more interesting . Finish up & then live like a normal young person .

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Swim analyst, businesswoman.

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