7 Jul 2012

NZOC won't be banning sleeping pills

1:32 pm on 7 July 2012

The New Zealand Olympic Committee won't be following in the footsteps of its Australian counterpart and banning strong sleeping tablets.

The Australian Olympic Committee has banned athletes from taking the tablets in the wake of former Olympic swimming champion Grant Hackett's claim that he became dependent on zolpidem.

Other Australian athletes say the ban could cost them medals given the long distance they have to travel to London and the jet lag that goes with it.

The secretary general of the New Zealand Olympic committee Kereyn Smith says they won't be banning sleeping tablets but says athletes should consult with medical professionals before using any medication.

The drug isn't banned by the World Anti Doping Agency and the chief executive of Drugfree Sport NZ Graeme Steel doesn't believe it's a problem for New Zealnd athletes.