October 21, 2017 / 3:27 AM / a year ago

Swimming - Australia's Groves cleared of breach of whereabouts rules

2016 Rio Olympics - Swimming - Victory Ceremony - Women's 200m Butterfly Victory Ceremony - Olympic Aquatics Stadium - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 10/08/2016. Madeline Groves (AUS) of Australia poses with her silver medal. REUTERS/Dominic Ebenbichler

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Rio Olympics silver medallist Madeline Groves has been cleared of a third breach of anti-doping ‘whereabouts rules’ and is free to compete at next year’s Commonwealth Games, Swimming Australia said on Saturday.

The 22-year-old, who won silver in the 200m butterfly behind Spain’s Mireia Belmonte in Rio, had missed her third test at her residence in the United States in May.

However, swimming’s world governing body FINA said on Friday Groves had been “fully compliant with her responsibilities and obligations” and therefore not recorded a third breach of the rules in a 12-month period.

“I have always been confident in achieving this outcome as I have been compliant with all anti-doping policies throughout my career,” Groves said in a Swimming Australia statement on Saturday.

“I am happy to put this behind me and I am looking forward to competing in an attempt to qualify for the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.”

Local media reported that testers had been unable to find Groves at her university residence in San Diego.

However, her legal representatives said she had been waiting for them in her room and the testers had not gone beyond the building’s front desk nor tried to contact her by telephone.

Groves’ Rio team mates Jarrod Poort, a long-distance freestyle swimmer, and Commonwealth 200 freestyle champion Thomas Fraser-Holmes were both banned for 12 months earlier this year for breaches of the whereabouts rules.

Athletes are required to file information on their whereabouts for at least one hour every day to allow drug testers to locate them for random out-of-competition tests.

Reporting by Greg Stutchbury; Editing by Peter Rutherford

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