GOLD Coast Olympian Thomas Fraser-Holmes is one of three Australian swimmers who could be banned from competing in next year’s Commonwealth Games after missing a series of drug tests.
The local two-time Olympian, Rio Olympic Games silver medallist Madeline Groves and open water swimmer Jarrod Poort face a two-year ban on all competitions after failing to update their locations to drug testers three times in the last 12 months.
Athletes must nominate an hour-long timeslot for when they can be tested unannounced by FINA and ASADA officials.
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According to News Corp Australia, Fraser-Holmes failed to turn up for one of his unannounced tests at his house after being delayed at a family dinner, while Groves missed her third test while in San Diego, California.
Sports lawyer Tim Fuller has been instructed to act for the pair and told News Corp he fears the duo, who have never returned a positive test for a prohibited substance, are being targeted.
— Tom fraser-holmes (@tomfraserholmes) August 11, 2016
Swimming Australia released a statement on Sunday, confirming members of the Dolphins team had failed to update their locations to drug testers.
“Swimming Australia confirms it has 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,” the statement said.
“ASADA and FINA are yet to finalise their processes and to confirm the final outcomes in relation to these matters.
“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.”
Swimming Australia CEO Mark Anderson said that Swimming Australia had long been a strong and vocal advocate for clean sport and the stringent rules in place to ensure all athletes are available for testing at any time.
“Both Swimming Australia and our athletes have been very clear on our position in relation to anti-doping both here in Australia and internationally,” Mr Anderson said.
“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.
“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 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.”