Sydney:Australia's top swimmers may have to undergo out-of-competition illicit drug testing under a plan proposed by Swimming Australia.
"Swimming Australia has a strong belief that any sort of drugs in sport are inappropriate and that illicit drugs are high on that list," Swimming Australia chief executive Glenn Tasker said on Wednesday.
Under current rules, Australian swimmers are tested for both illicit and performance-enhancing drugs during competition. During rest and training, they are only tested for performance enhancers.
The group wants to test swimmers for drugs such as ecstasy and cocaine.
"We send very clear messages to our athletes about performance-enhancing substances," added Tasker. "Why would we not send a clear message about recreational drugs?"
There was a "better than average" chance of illicit drug use in swimming given the prevalence of drug culture in wider society, Tasker said.
Swimming Australia has presented its plan to the Australian Swimmers' Association and is awaiting a response. Further details of how the testing would be conducted, or the ground rules for when a swimmer would be suspended, have not been disclosed.
But Tasker said cautioning first-time offenders for illicit drug use already applied in the general community.