BRISBANE, Australia, Oct 22 (Reuters) - Former swimmer Elka Graham is tarnishing innocent athletes by refusing to disclose more about drug allegations she made in a newspaper column, Australian swimming chief Glenn Tasker said today.
The dual Olympian claimed in a Sunday column that she was offered performance-enhancing drugs by another elite swimmer while training ahead of the 2004 Athens Olympics.
The 26-year-old from Sydney later declined to name the swimmer or specify their nationality, saying the person had now retired so any retrospective action was irrelevant.
Tasker told reporters that Swimming Australia (SA) and Australian team head coach Alan Thompson had been trying unsuccessfully to contact Graham for the past two days to urge her to provide more information.
He said that Graham had a responsibility to former team mates and training partners, both in Australia and the United States, where she prepared for the Athens Games.
''You can't drop a hand grenade in a room and think you're going to get out before it goes off,'' Tasker said.
''Literally anybody who swam with Elka in the years leading up to Athens, she's cast doubt out there about who is it.
''I could rattle off the names of some of the members of her own squad, I could rattle off the names of swimmers from other countries that she trained with, so there's a whole bunch of people out there who could be reading this article and thinking, she better not be talking about me.
''If she can give us a name then ASADA (Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority) will investigate.
''The bottom line is at the moment that a whole bunch of really, really quality people have been tainted.'' He said SA planned to work with ASADA to decide the best way to approach the allegations, with the drug body responsible for any subsequent investigation.
Australian swimmer Grant Hackett has called on Graham, who retired last year, to name the person who offered her the drugs.
REUTERS RAR AS1314