Australian javelin thrower Bannister dies at age 33


SYDNEY (AP) Athletics Australia says former Olympic javelin thrower Jarrod Bannister has died in the Netherlands, where he been living and training. He was 33.

The sport’s national governing body says there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding Bannister’s death.

Bannister won the 2010 Commonwealth Games gold medal and placed sixth in the final at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. His personal best of 89.02 meters, set in Brisbane in 2008, remains the Australian record.

Australia’s world champion hurdler Sally Pearson led tributes to Bannister, posting on Twitter: ”A talented athlete with so much more to give. You will be missed.”

Olympic sprinter Melissa Breen posted on Twitter: ”You were the best javelin thrower Australia has ever produced, but may this be a reminder that we are all more than results on a page.”

Breen later posted a telephone number for a suicide prevention hotline in Australia.

Bannister’s last major competition came at the 2011 world championships in South Korea where he placed seventh in the javelin final.

In 2013, Bannister was banned for 20 months by anti-doping authorities for not disclosing his whereabouts to drug testers on three occasions.

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