Phuket Gazette Sports: Swimming great wants life bans

Fraser wants life ban for Australian 4x100m swimmers
Reuters / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: Swimming great Dawn Fraser wants life bans imposed on members of the Australian men’s 4x100m freestyle relay squad who admitted using a banned sedative in a bonding session before last year’s London Olympics.

James Magnussen and team mates Matt Targett, Eamon Sullivan, Cameron McEvoy and Tommaso DOrsogna admitted using the prescription drug Stilnox in Sydney last week. James Roberts appeared with the team but said he had not taken the drug.

Stilnox, a brand of the medication zolpidem, is not banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency but was prohibited by the AOC because of its hallucinatory effects and after former Olympic champion Grant Hackett said he had become addicted to it.

Fraser told reporters after she was voted the country’s all-time greatest female sportswoman at a ceremony in Canberra the swimmers had let the country down.

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“Those people who take drugs should be banned forever, not to ever be allowed to come back … especially in this example,” the 75-year-old, who won four Olympic golds between 1956-1964 and as many silver medals, was quoted as saying by Australian Associated Press.

“They should be punished severely because they are setting a bad example for the younger generation for our country.

The relay squad now face Swimming Australia’s integrity panel.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

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