Poort takes Swimming Australia sanction on the chin

SANCTIONED: Jarrod Poort, pictured in action at the Rio Olympics, has been suspended for 12 months by Swimming Australia. Picture: AP
SANCTIONED: Jarrod Poort, pictured in action at the Rio Olympics, has been suspended for 12 months by Swimming Australia. Picture: AP

WOLLONGONG Olympian Jarrod Poort has accepted a one-year suspension handed down by Swimming Australia for failing to properly report his whereabouts for testing.

Swimming Australia CEO, Mark Anderson said the sanction – that will ban Poort from competition until September 2018 – was imposed based on recommendations from ASADA after Poort incurred a third strike under the reporting policy.

“Our athletes understand that the rules in place to ensure they’re available for testing at their designated location and time are a very important element of anti-doping policies,” Mr Anderson said.

“The Australian Dolphins swim team has worked hard to develop a culture of professionalism within the team. Part of that is ensuring each athlete is responsible for accurately providing their locations so testers can access them when required.

“It is extremely disappointing that this has not occurred as it should have. Jarrod has taken responsibility for his filing errors and we continue to work with and support him as best we can through this process. 

“Whilst clearly this is a very disappointing situation for Jarrod and swimming, we need to reiterate that this is not a positive result and his ownership and acceptance of the situation is admirable.”  

The 22-year-old represented Australia in the 1500 metres freestyle at the London Olympics before turning his attention to the 10 kilometre open water event at last year’s Rio Games.

Poort earned high praise for his aggressive approach to the event –  leading out hard before fading late to finish 21st –  and had been tipped as a potential Olympic medalist of the future.

That future is now uncertain by an enforced 12 months out of competition, but Poort said he accepts the sanction.

“At the end of the day people make mistakes and that’s what I did,” Poort said.

“It was remiss of me to neglect a management system that must be shown the full respect it deserves and it is a very embarrassing situation to now be in.

“The whereabouts system is one of the tools that aids in keeping legitimacy in the sport that myself, and so many others, love and spend so much time in, and as such it needs to be treated with respect.

“Dealing with, and getting my head around the whole situation that has been ongoing since February has been a very tough period of time for myself. 

“Now, facing one year ineligibility from the sport and a way of life I’ve dedicated so much to over the past years, is a very tough pill to swallow. However, I’ve chosen to accept and respect the situation.”