Australia's Jarrod Bannister competing in the men's javelin throw final at the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championships in 2013
Australia's Jarrod Bannister competing in the men's javelin throw final at the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championships in 2013

Sporting champion Jarrod Bannister dies suddenly aged 33

AUSTRALIAN athletes have paid tribute to former champion javelin thrower Jarrod Bannister who passed away overnight.

Bannister, 33 - who won gold at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi - died suddenly in Holland where he had been living, according to reports.

His death is not believed to be suspicious.

"Athletics Australia is saddened and shocked to learn of the death of Jarrod Bannister," said a statement released by the governing body shortly after the news was confirmed.

"Jarrod's mark of 89.02m is the current Australian record in javelin, set in Brisbane in 2008.

"Two years later, he won gold for his performance at the Delhi Commonwealth Games. It was the highlight of the many occasions that Bannister represented Australia which also included the Melbourne Commonwealth Games in 2006 and Beijing Olympic Games in 2008, and the 2011 IAAF World Championships in Daegu, South Korea."

Athletics Australia CEO Darren Gocher paid tribute to Bannister.

"On behalf of Athletics Australia, I extend our deepest condolences to Jarrod's family and friends and urge the athletics fraternity to support each other at this difficult time," he said.

The governing body also said it would be honouring Bannister's career in the coming days.

Bannister finished sixth at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and made the world championships final in both South Korea and Daegu.

In 2013 however he was banned for 20 months for avoiding drug tests.

The Queenslander missed three tests within 18 months - which is treated the same as a positive test.

Bannister blamed poor communication and procedures by Athletics Australia as a factor behind the circumstances which saw him breach the ASADA Athlete Whereabouts program, which requires the drug agencies to be made aware of the movements of athletes at all times.

 

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