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Australian swimmer to appeal against FI ban

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  10 Jun 2017 12:00 AM GMT

Canberra, June 9: Australian Olympic swimmer Thomas Fraser-Holmes will appeal a 12-month Intertiol Swimming Federation (FI) ban which would see him miss the 2018 Commonwealth Games, Swimming Australia confirmed on Friday.

On Wednesday, FI announced that Fraser-Holmes would be banned from competition for 12 months after he missed three out-of-competition drug tests, while fellow swimmer and Olympic silver medallist Madeline Groves is yet to face a hearing for the same charge, reports Xinhua news agency.

Open water swimmer Jarrod Poort is also under investigation for the same offence.

In a statement released on Friday, Swimming Australia confirmed that Fraser-Holmes would appeal the decision.

“Swimming Australia is aware that the FI Doping Panel have conducted a hearing regarding Thomas Fraser-Holmes’ alleged breaches and have announced a sanction of 12 months,” the statement said.

“We have been informed that Thomas Fraser-Holmes will be appealing the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, as is his right,” the statement added.

Meanwhile, Fraser-Holmes’s lawyer Tim Fuller told News Corp the swimmer had “never breached” the rules before, and had even attempted to reschedule one of the tests when he was asked to fly to Canberra to try out a new coach.

The lawyer said the swimmer had attempted to log onto the online anti-doping computer program to reschedule the tests, adding that Fraser-Holmes was “upset” that the FI representatives did not accept his explation, considering the swimmer tried to log for five straight days with no success.

“He’s pretty upset,” Fuller said, “He’s competed clean all of his life and never been in breach of the rules before.”

Commonwealth Games Australia chief executive Craig Phillips said the FI ruling had the potential to affect the country’s prospects in the upcoming CWG 2018.

“We will have a strong swim team but it will be difficult to have him missing,” he said.

Phillips said the situation was an important lesson for other athletes about there being “rules around being available for tests”.

“We are disappointed, but I think the disappointment has to be much stronger for Tom, his family and his supporters,” he said. IANS

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