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Champion Australian javelin thrower Jarrod Bannister dies

Michael Gleeson

Published: February 9 2018 - 7:51PM

Australia's champion javelin thrower Jarrod Bannister has died suddenly overnight in the Netherlands.

Bannister, who won gold in the javelin at the Delhi Commonwealth Games and was the national record holder, had been training and living in Holland with his girlfriend.

There were understood to be no suspicious circumstances surrounding his death. He was 33.

The news has shattered the Australian athletics community as the charismatic Queenslander was a popular team member.

Bannister made the final of both the world championships in Daegu, South Korea, and the Beijing Olympics.

He was controversially banned for 20 months from competing in 2013 for failing three whereabouts tests one of which occurred when drug testers arrived at the hotel he had listed as staying in and the hotel did not know he was there.

He would have been  banned for two years for the third missed test but the Court of Arbitration for Sport recognised the extentuating circumstances in his case.

The WADA drug testers arrived at the hotel in Cologne, Germany, only to be told Bannister had checked out the day before. In fact he was asleep upstairs in a room he was sharing with another Australian athlete, Joel Milburn, as per Athletics Australia policy and the room was paid for by AA.

R.I.P Jarrod Bannister. A talented athlete with so much more to give. You will be missed. ❤️

— Sally Pearson OAM (@sallypearson) February 9, 2018

Incredibly sad news to learn of the passing of Australian javelin record holder Jarrod Bannister. This throw shows him in his prime. A super athlete who sadly had many demons. RIP.

— David Culbert (@Culbert_Report) February 9, 2018

Milburn had checked in the day before and so the room was registered in his name and Bannister's name was not added to hotel records to reflect that he was also staying in the room.

The ban devastated Bannister, but he served his ban and was back again in serious training and hoping to return to his best.

For help or information, call Lifeline 131 114 or beyondblue 1300 224 636

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