Australian Javelin Champion Banned For Missing Tests

Australian javelin champion Jarrod Bannister has been banned for a period of 20 months after he missed three tests within 18 months, which is treated the same as a positive test. This penalty means the javelin champion will be unable to defend his gold at next year’s Commonwealth games in Glasgow.

The 28-year-old Bannister, who won the gold medal at New Delhi in 2010 and was sixth in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, said on his Facebook page on Friday that he has been banned until February 18, 2015. The javelin thrower blamed poor communication with Athletics Australia as a factor behind the circumstances leading to a breach of the Athlete Whereabouts program, which requires drug agencies to be made aware of the movements of athletes at all times.

The Australian athlete said within the court reasons, it was found that there was no deliberate action by myself to avoid being tested. He went on to remark that he would encourage other athletes, especially Australian athletes, to be vigilant when dealing with Athletics Australia and ASADA. The javelin thrower also suggested that he took “lightly” the anti-drug code and had relied on verbal rather than written correspondence with Athletics Australia. He added that he would encourage all athletes, parents, family, and Athletic Governing bodies to read the 22 July 2013 Judgment which can be found on the ASADA website and said he hope that what has happened to me does not happen to any other athlete.

The finding was handed down by arbitrator Alan Sullivan, SC, called on Athletics Australia, Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA), and the World Anti-Doping Agency to review their operations and procedures.

Meanwhile, Athletics Australia released a statement saying that we 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. It also suggested that part of this is that it is the individual athlete’s responsibility to notify the World Anti-Doping Agency of all international travel arrangements and precise accommodation arrangements. The statement 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 and added Athletics Australia will reinforce to its athletes the message that this decision brings and at the same time provide additional education and assistance in order to maximize compliance with the sport’s strict and wide ranging anti-doping policy.

Under the guidance of the legendary Uwe Hohn, Bannister soared from his sixth place in the javelin at the 2006 Commonwealth Games, to gain a first national senior title, selection for the Osaka World Championships. With his performance, Jarrod Bannister got into Olympic medal calculations by hurling the javelin 89.02m to win the Australian title in February. Following a funding breach, Bannister was banned from receiving support from any of the Australian institutes of sport in a separate incident in late 2011.

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