Aussie swimmer sent home in controversy ahead of Commonwealth Games

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Isaac Cooper, pictured here in action at the Australian Swimming Championships in Adelaide in May.
Isaac Cooper in action at the Australian Swimming Championships in Adelaide in May. (Photo by BRENTON EDWARDS/AFP via Getty Images)

Australian swimmer Isaac Cooper has been sent home from a pre-Commonwealth Games training camp in France for disciplinary reasons related to the inappropriate use of medication.

Swimming Australia made the bombshell announcement on Wednesday that the 18-year-old will miss the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, starting next week.

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Cooper was set to make his Comm Games debut in four events - the 50m and 100m backstroke, 50m butterfly and 50m freestyle.

He had been favoured to win gold in both backstroke events.

"Cooper has been sent home from the Dolphins training camp following some wellbeing challenges, including the use of medication," Swimming Australia said in a statement.

"He has acknowledged his mistakes and accepted the consequences, and Swimming Australia will continue to support him as he addresses these challenges.

Isaac Cooper, pictured here in action at the swimming world championships in Budapest.
Isaac Cooper in action at the swimming world championships in Budapest. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

"The welfare of our athletes remains our absolute priority.

"Swimming Australia is vigilant in educating athletes of their obligations under the National Integrity Framework and will continue to provide all necessary support to ensure they uphold the highest standards and behaviours when representing Australia."

Cooper has now departed Chartres, where he had been for the past week with the rest of the Aussie swim team ahead of arriving in Birmingham next week.

A Swimming Australia spokesman told AAP the sedative Stilnox was "categorically" not the misused substance.

Scandal erupted before the 2012 Olympics in London when six Australian swimmers - Eamon Sullivan, Matt Targett, James Magnussen, James Roberts, Tommaso D'Orsogna and Cameron McEvoy - were sanctioned over the use of Stilnox at a bonding session.

All but Roberts admitted abusing Stilnox, a sleeping medication which had been banned by the Australian Olympic Committee.

The six swimmers were later fined and given deferred suspensions by SA.

Isaac Cooper, pictured here competing in the mixed medley relay at the Tokyo Olympics.
Isaac Cooper competes in the mixed medley relay at the Tokyo Olympics. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Isaac Cooper emerging as future superstar

Cooper won a bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics last year as part of Australia's mixed 4x100m medley relay team.

The Queenslander has emerged as a star in the making after setting a new national record in the 50m backstroke at the national championships in May.

He also won gold in the 100m backstroke, silver in 50m butterfly and bronze in the 50m freestyle at the meet in Adelaide.

The 18-year-old is the Commonwealth's top-ranked swimmer in both backstroke events.

At the recent World Championships in Budapest he finished eighth in the 50m backstroke and made the semi-finals of the 100m backstroke.

Swimming Australia also announced on Wednesday that para-swimmer Tim Disken will miss the Games due to injury following a recent bout of surgery.

The Birmingham Commonwealth Games start on July 28.

with AAP

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