Fraser wants life ban for Australian 4x100m swimmers

Thu Feb 28, 2013 2:18pm IST

Former Australian swimmer Dawn Fraser smiles during a Reuters interview in Sydney April 7, 2011. REUTERS/Daniel Munoz/Files

Former Australian swimmer Dawn Fraser smiles during a Reuters interview in Sydney April 7, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Daniel Munoz/Files

REUTERS - 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. (Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; editing by Greg Stutchbury)

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