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Javelin champion banned for avoiding doping tests

Commonwealth Games javelin champion Jarrod Bannister says he has been banned for 20 months for avoiding drug tests.

Jarrod Bannister won gold at 2010 Commonwealth Games

Jarrod Bannister is seen competing at the London Olympic Games in the men's javelin throw on Aug. 8, 2012. (Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Commonwealth Games javelin champion Jarrod Bannister has been banned for 20 months after missing three doping tests.

Athletics Australia said in a statement Friday that Bannister, who won the gold medal at New Delhi in 2010 and was sixth in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, missed three tests within 18 months. Missing multiple tests is treated by the anti-doping authorities in the same way as a failed test.

The 28-year-old Bannister has been banned until Feb. 18, 2015.

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

Athletics Australia said Bannister was given a slightly reduced ban by the Court of Arbitration for Sport after being charged under article 6.4 of the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Agency's policy concerning his availability for out-of-competition testing.

"We are disappointed that Jarrod did not meet his obligations as one of our top performing athletes and this case demonstrates the need for all athletes to be diligent and responsible," Athletics Australia chief executive Dallas O'Brien said.

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