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Wednesday 26, Mar 2014

  Athletics Australia President Slams Uneven Treatment

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Athletics Australia President Slams Uneven Treatment

The President of Athletics Australia has questioned the concept of different punishments within the world sport for failure to be present for doping tests. David Grace made this remark after it was announced that Anthony Alozie, a member of the Australian men’s sprint relay squad, has incurred a sanction for 20 months for missing a drug test and breaching the “whereabouts” rule.

Alozie, the 27-year-old Nigerian-born sprinter, participated at the 2011 International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championships in Daegu. Alozie competed with Matt Davies, who was banned for a period of two years in December after he tested positive for a banned stimulant, and Josh Ross, recently lost a challenge in the Court of Arbitration for Sport. Alozie, Davies, and Ross raced in the same team at the 2009 IAAF World Championships in Berlin.

Athletics Australia confirmed that the 27-year-old Alozie received an infraction notice by the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority for two failures over the filing of his whereabouts while the other breach was for missing a drug test. Grace remarked that negligence or carelessness is not the same as being a drug cheat. Last year, Australian Football League side Western Bulldogs received a small fine after it failed to properly lodge whereabouts documents for their players while no individual player was banned.

Athletics Australia President said this case again highlights the uneven treatment under the AFL drug code and what allowed the Western Bulldogs to be fined rather than players being suspended and added we could not waive the requirements even if we wanted to and it is our obligation under the ASADA that our athletes are compliant and we have no leeway. Grace also remarked they have been drug tested umpteen times each one of them, but in between each one of those tests they have missed a drug test or missed a whereabouts listing and added there is nothing to suggest that Ross, the third-fastest Australian on record with a 100 meters best of 10.08sec, or Alozie are drug cheats.

Under present rules, athletes are required to advise their National Federations of one hour every day they will be in a specific location so they can be tested. An athlete, failing to lodge his or her whereabouts properly or missing at the specific location, constitutes a breach and three whereabouts breaches or missed drug tests in a period of 18 months are treated the same as having returned a positive result, which means that the athlete can be banned for a period between 12 months and two years.

In one of the high-profile cases, Britain’s 400m runner Christine Ohuruogu in 2006 was suspended for failing to be present for doping testers on three occasions but returned the next year in Osaka to win the first of her two world titles.

Last year, Jarrod Bannister was banned for missed drug tests. The javelin thrower missed three drug tests, despite one of the three missed tests occurring when the hotel Bannister was staying in under an Athletics Australia group booking did not know the athlete was still staying there.

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Sunday 18, Aug 2013

  Australian Javelin Champion Banned For Missing Tests

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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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