Top Oz Olympian banned for missing doping tests

 Thomas Fraser-Homes (Getty)
Thomas Fraser-Homes (Getty)

Sydney - Australian Olympic swimmer Thomas Fraser-Homes has been banned for 12 months for missing three doping tests, putting his place at next year's Commonwealth Games in jeopardy, his lawyer said on Thursday.

World governing body FINA's doping panel handed down its punishment on Wednesday, with the 2014 Commonwealth Games freestyle gold medallist to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

His lawyer Tim Fuller said the appeal would be based on the grounds that equipment used to log his whereabouts was faulty.

"Tom has been dealing with a faulty system that WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) put into place and that contributed significantly to his second breach," Fuller told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

"Tom tried to log on his whereabouts over a number of days."

Athletes are required to keep authorities informed about their whereabouts so they can be tested unannounced.

Fuller said Fraser-Holmes, a former world No 1, 200m freestyler and two-time Olympian, did everything possible to comply with the testing procedure.

"(He) took all reasonable steps to log his whereabouts but was unable to due to a technical fault," he said. "Yet FINA has still found him to be negligent in this area of compliance."

Commonwealth Games Australia chief executive Craig Phillips said the ruling could affect Australia's team for the event at the Gold Coast from April 4-15.

"We are disappointed, but I think the disappointment has to be much stronger for Tom, his family and his supporters," he told the broadcaster.

The ban will not affect the upcoming world championships as Fraser-Holmes opted out of qualifying to focus on the Commonwealths.

Australia's Rio Olympic silver medallist Madeleine Groves could also face a ban after FINA claims she missed three doping tests.

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