Teammates Express Disappointment With Treatment Of Fraser-Holmes

In light of the fact Australian swimmer Thomas Fraser-Holmes was slapped with a 12-month ban for having missed 3 drug tests, Swimming Australia notified the swimmer last week that he could no longer be a part of the Australian Team. As we reported, in addition to having financial payments cut-off and being restricted from training under the guidance of an ASCTA Accredited Coach, Fraser-Holmes was also sent home from the team hotel in Monaco where he was staying with the intention of competing at the first stop of the 2017 Mare Nostrum Series.

Now fellow Swimming Australia Dolphin national team squadmates are vocalizing their disappointment with how Fraser-Holmes was treated by their nation’s swimming organization. The Daily Telegraph reports that, at a team meeting held in Europe, “The swimmers were uncomfortable in seeing one of their teammates being treated like this.”

A source present at the meeting told The Daily Telegraph how fellow swimmers were surprised, “That he was banished from the team aggressively. The team was in shock that this would happen, that this is how Swimming Australia is dealing with the matters like these.

“The likes of team leader Cate Campbell expressed extreme disappointment with Swimming Australia’s handling of the matter, it was sense of: ‘Is this what we have to look forward to if we make a mistake’?”

Aussie teammate Madi Groves continues to train and compete, including at the Mare Nostrum serie, with a possible suspension hanging in the balance due to her also missing 3 drug tests. Open water Olympian Jarrod Poort is also in the same boat as Groves with no word yet on his case’s outcome.

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Ned Jr

Yep this is the way we protect the Australian Swimming image. Act in a manner that makes the team management look good and strong. Why was he on the team when this was a likely outcome oh i forgot look at the Australian Federation website and see all the lovely travel pictures of the team around the Mare Nostrum meet at tourist sites, casino, and the local yacht club. No doubt the President got hem in there with his backgound. How about concentrating on the event that is being paid for by the members and the management doing some actual work to ensure that swimmers are where they are supposed to be for testing. It is not rocket science but… Read more »


Don’t miss your drug tests and you don’t get suspended. Spare me the sour grapes.


Which clowns? It’s like a final 3 points on your driving licence before it is stripped – what were the others? No one has questioned the previous infringements -or have they? If we are to internet judge then we need to see those & see if there is a pattern . Otherwise we have to leave it to CAS . TFH has already given Aust swimming a bad image . He is by all accounts a nice person but I have not forgotten being in an Asian supermarket amongst perfectly polite Asian & likely perfectly legal residents & visa holders shopping . There on the front page of the displayed newspaper was Tommy in tiny speedos complaining about Chinese swimming… Read more »


Hhhmm, I think I come down somewhere in between on this one. SAL, to my mind, created a rod for their own back by knowingly taking the risk of selecting a swimmer with a case “pending” against him. Once the verdict came down, their procedural hands are tied with regards to removing him from the team and suspension of all financial support ….. and the other swimmers are being somewhat disingenuous or incredibly naive of workplace policy if they believe otherwise. As to HOW this may’ve actually been handled in person, there they may or may not have a case. This IS a Murdoch Media publication and their lack of reputability goes without saying but maybe there may be some… Read more »


The Tele , The Australian & The Courier Mail have been the prime source of swimming news for the Aust public for 40 years . Murdoch trained Ian Hanson & Nicole Jeffries have been 2 of the world’s top swim journos for decades. So they put out a few negative stories – they are not untrue .The Tele rightfully thinks its readers are still interested in swimming because they would be patriotic type & lean to be older . However the growing age gap & the never ending Victim Emos of the younger ppl ( in this case the national swim team) will be a natural end . Soon no one will give a ****.


I know the backgrounds of both Hanson (longtime SAL media flack) and Jeffrey. I am, however, very aware of Murdoch media editorial practice having observed it for over 40 years. I really feel that the best policy when dealing with media in general is to remember that old police caution “You are not obliged to say ANYTHING but anything you do say may/can be used in evidence against against you”. I have little sympathy for TFH (and the others) for missing 3 tests through what appears to be their own negligence. When you’re on 2 strikes, you have to know that you’ve got no wiggle room and you need to be right on top of these situations. In all honesty,… Read more »


I still think the Tele gets a whole band of NSW populace correct & they do a decent job of separating a news item from personal opinion. I am very grateful for their swim coverage over the years.

Prior to this I wasn’t worried about their performances at Budapest , but now I think – they had better improve on Rio either times or places . March is a bridge too far for public interest.


Oh, the Tele, like the Hun in Melb & the Curious Snail in Bris, DO cater to that particular demographic albeit their editorial policy increasingly slants across much of their reporting; including some sports. If, as I suspect, AUS swimming has a very barren 2017 Worlds then its most certainly going to cost them when it comes to federal funding …. and that’s fair enough; SAL hierarchy know the score (non performance at key meets will have $$$ consequences). Whatever happens at Toytowns is frankly immaterial as its relative “weighting” is significantly lower than World level events. As it is, the media attention will be far less than what it once was. In all honesty, the best thing for AUS… Read more »

Joel Lin

Would Fraser-Holmes consider joining an NCAA program to train in the US?


Who would take him ? He’s 25, to the best of my knowledge he has never undertaken any degree courses at any AUS university to have any “credits” that he could possibly transfer over. A mark like this on his record would not exactly be a plus recruiting point in any case.

Some AUS swimmers of National team level COULD possibly benefit from a NCAA stint (albeit they need to understand that its odds of paying off are as much 50/50 as any career move) but it would be more swimmers significantly younger than TFH.

Joel Lin

That makes sense considering his age. Matt Targett had a great NCAA experience & I can think of a couple more.


Not many elite Aussies have come to the USA to study and swim. Even Tracy Caulkins and Mark Stockwell’s son came to the USA for college….and they both went to UF.


Yet, despite his impeccable “bloodlines”, Stockwell Jr has only once even looked close to senior AUS selection. Whilst I feel an NCAA stint COULD be of benefit to some AUS swimmers who may be “around the mark” for national team selection; it can never be seen as a guaranteed success. Just as many intl swimmers of reasonable repute have “disappeared without a trace” as have benefited. Not all AUS elite swimmers have tertiary education aspirations whilst others juggle such commitments. AUS universities DO tend to be highly flexible with elite sportsperson students …. as long as they pass their exams. For those with tertiary education goals, I think the choice of staying at home vs NCAA will often revolve around… Read more »


You have to be amateur to swim in the NCAA. Clearly Fraser-Holmes has earned money from swimming for years.


Hello Mr Comedian or at least “would be”, Not sure that he has actually ever received prize money from swimming given he has rarely if ever raced at such meets that offer straight out prize money. He has certainly never received any direct commercial sponsorship; maybe some indirect or local deals with the exception perhaps being an equipment deal but I don’t know that he has any deal with any brand outside the current SAL contractual supplier. He will have received some funding from SAL & QAS (much which will cover coaching expenses). NCAA colleges HAVE moist certainly accepted AUS swimmers plus those from the UK who have been the recipients of public funding in their home countries so clearly… Read more »


Wow, isn’t that harsh? Banned from swimming competing?


I just misread the article. I thought he was banned for life. I originally thought it was a 12 month ban.

About Loretta Race

Loretta Race

Loretta grew up outside Toledo, OH, where she swam age group and high school. Graduating from Xavier University, she stayed in the Cincinnati, OH area and currently resides just outside the city in Northern KY.  Loretta got back into the sport of swimming via Masters and now competes and is …

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