Fraser-Holmes gets 12-month ban for missing three drugs tests: Appeal to CAS

Thomas Fraser-Holmes - by Ian McNicol

Thomas Fraser-Holmes has been given a one-year ban by FINA after missing three drugs in a 12-month period, ruling him out of defending his 200m freestyle crown at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.

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Firstly, one small geographic correction. TFH’s move from Miami club to the squad training at Bond Uni involves a move of little over a mile; TFH has been based on the Gold Coast for a long time.

Sorry if I’m not buying Mr Fuller’s bluster as I feel he is engaging in more than a little semantics. IF those experts testimony had been that the technology was faulty on the specific day of said missed test then the case would’ve been dismissed.

What would appear to be the case is that their testimony was to the effect that the system is liable to failures which is a general statement rather than a specific statement of fact pertinent to this instance ….. but Mr Fuller is attempting to spin it as such.

At the end of it all, TFH was responsible for staying on top of this requirement and given that he knew he was on two strikes; he should have been well aware that his backside was on the line.


TFH is guilty of carelessness rather than cheating. But rules are rules. Subjectivity should never come into it. 12 months is a fair penalty. In light of this penalty it would be perverse if the next swimmer found to have taken a performance-enhancing substance is given anything less than a two year ban.

Craig Lord

CW: Gold Coast wording could have been misinterpreted so tweaked, though the mentions of miami and links to the fuller story make it abundantly clear that his home is the same as it was. Beyond that, I would not be sure that “If those experts testimony had been that the technology was faulty on the specific day of said missed test then the case would’ve been dismissed” reflects the history of anti-doping cases. There have been other cases in which authorities have pressed ahead with cases while rejecting ‘evidence’ that was subsequently accepted by CAS to reduce or wipe out penalties. We cannot say that Mr Fuller is spinning anything without having seen the full case file that will be presented to CAS: to do so constitutes mere speculation at this stage. Yes, TFH was responsible for staying on top of things: on that point, quite right. unfortunate and sloppy, to say the least. And beyond that: 1 year for carelessness; 3months never served for testing positive for a heart booster – and no challenge from FINA, whose director then hugs sun yang on the deck at an Olympic Games. I think that’s the more important message here: FINA has a string of non-contested lenient decisions on its count. This particular ‘leniency’ pales by comparison to other cases if leniency. A mess.

Craig Lord

Quite so, longstroke. As noted in my other comment: 3 month never served for an actual positive test that also included working with a doctor then served two suspensions for working with a suspended athlete. There is no consistency in anti-doping penalties, neither where there is leniency shown nor where no leniency is shown.


I will most certainly grant you that unless we see the actual transcripts, we cannot know the exact testimony but this manner of conduct tends to be Mr Fuller’s standard MO.

Very fair point that FINA, other intl feds and NADA’S HAVE tried to bluster their way through such cases in the past but one would have thought they’d learn after having a number of verdicts overturned.

Zero debate re the inconsistency of penalties but on this case, and from what has been put forward in the Groves case, I’m hard pressed to find much sympathy for these Australians.


Seriously after all the statements, the change in culture, change in behaviour, unified team, great leadership, fantastic result in Rio, etc, etc, etc…
Three swimmers on their third strike!!!
What the hell is wrong with SAL.
This is a PR disaster for a team that appears to have gone backwards rather than improve.
Rio was full of top level times and failed to deliver (IMO worse position than London).
Leading statements about drug cheats but all we are seeing at moment is this laziness and the accusations in the para side about Australian cheating.
Time to go back and start again remembering that the Australian team is a privilege not a right to ignore what is required of you.
If you cannot uphold your end of the bargain stay home and as for SAL leaders hang your heads in shame.

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