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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Josh Ross channels anger over latest 'missed' ASADA test

Josh Ross channels anger over latest 'missed' ASADA test

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Olympian Josh Ross channels anger over latest 'missed' ASADA test

By Daniel Lane
Sydney Morning Herald
March 16, 2016

Sprinter Josh Ross' dream to be on the starting line at the Rio Olympics after serving a two-year ban for missing three drug tests suffered a setback when his latest test was conducted minutes outside his allocated time.

Under the Athletes Whereabouts Code, all athletes must inform the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority where they will be between 6am and 11pm on any given day.

The code, which was introduced in 2004 but has since been revised, was introduced to prevent athletes from disappearing to dodge drug tests. Three misses within a 12-month period constitutes a doping infraction.

Ross received a two-year suspension in 2013 when he missed three tests, one of which occurred because he failed to update his athlete whereabouts information when he rushed overseas to prepare for the world championships.

The two-time Olympian missed another test because of a mix-up with his address. At the time he lived in the office of a gymnasium in a Melbourne business park.

Many thought the two-year ban would end his distinguished career, but Ross, who says he has been tested about 200 times and never returned a positive test, is determined to compete in the 100 metres in Brazil.

"The testers came to my place and I didn't hear them knocking," Ross said of his latest episode. "I eventually opened the door, did the test and a few days later received a letter saying 'missed test'.

"I did the test a few minutes [after the allocated time], so if they were going to give me a 'missed test' why did they make me go through with one? I'll fight it, but if all else fails it means I can't miss two more [tests] in the next 12 months."

Ross is using the drama as motivation.

"I get angry but I use it on the track to make my performances better," he said. "Otherwise you sit there and it eats at you and that's using it the wrong way."

His barrister Julieanne Levick described the latest incident involving ASADA and the Olympian as "extraordinary".

"It's interesting the tester is the same doping control officer who couldn't locate Ross when he was living at the gym in 2013, when he received the fatal third strike that resulted in his two-year-ban," said Levick.

"At that time to telephone an athlete even a few minutes before testing was considered tantamount to tipping off an athlete. That proposition was bewildering back then.

"Unlike the last occasion, the same DCO was able to call him on his mobile to alert him as to her presence. Of note is that Ross wasn't notified of a change in policy where the DCOs can telephone the athlete a few minutes prior to testing. He could've turned his phone on in advance.

"This time he tested negative a few minutes outside the nominated hour, yet still had a 'missed test' recorded. Extraordinary stuff."

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