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‘Doping Australian swimmers should be banned for life,’ says Dawn Fraser

Amlan Chakraborty

Published 28/02/2013 | 10:06

James Magnussen (C) sits with teammates Cameron McEvoy (L) and Eamon Sullivan (R) from Australia's 4x100m freestyle relay team at the London Olympic Games
James Magnussen (C) sits with teammates Cameron McEvoy (L) and Eamon Sullivan (R) from Australia's 4x100m freestyle relay team at the London Olympic Games

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 D'Orsogna 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.

"Those people who take drugs in sport should be banned forever, not to ever be allowed to come back into sport ... 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.

"They wouldn't inspire me if I was a youngster coming up in the sport of swimming."

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

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