Australia's Bannister banned for missing three drug tests
AFPSYDNEY -- Australian Olympic javelin thrower Jarrod Bannister said Friday he has been banned from competition for 20 months after missing three drug tests.
August 10, 2013, 12:08 am TWN
Bannister, 28, the reigning Commonwealth gold medallist, said he had been banned until February 2015 by the Court of Arbitration for Sport because he missed three drug tests in an 18-month period.
Bannister said in a statement on his Facebook page that the court had agreed that he had not deliberately set out to dodge the tests, but that missing three in that time period was considered to be tantamount to a failed drug test.
“It was found that there was no deliberate action by myself to avoid being tested. That finding is consistent with my defense submissions at the hearing on the 21 June 2013,” said Bannister, who will not be able to defend his Commonwealth crown in Glasgow next year.
Bannister blamed poor communication and procedures by Athletics Australia as a key reason for his breaching of the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority's (ASADA's) athlete whereabouts program.
The program requires drugs agencies to be made aware of athletes' movements at all times.
Athletics Australia chief executive Dallas O'Brien said Bannister's ban was disappointing and highlighted the need for athletes to ensure strict adherence to their obligations under the World Anti-Doping Agency code.
“We are disappointed that Jarrod did not meet his obligations as one of our top performing athletes and this case demonstrates the need for all athletes to be diligent and responsible,” O'Brien said.
“We acknowledge this can be challenging once the athlete is already overseas and perhaps we need to look at how we can do a little more to assist the athletes in those circumstances to fulfill their requirements.”
Bannister warned other athletes about being vigilant with recording their movements and when dealing with Athletics Australia and ASADA.
Bannister previously had his funding pulled and was banned from every institute of sport in Australia after an accounting anomaly, Fairfax Media said.