Donna Fraser was a 100/200 runner during her schooldays and part of the British sprint relay team that won a silver medal at the World Junior Championships in 1990. Persuaded to switch to the 400 for 1991, she showed potential by becoming European Junior champion at the event. However her progress slowed in the early nineties and it was not until 1996 that she began to match the promise of her teenage years. She qualified for the Atlanta Olympics and was a regular at major championships from then onwards. Fraser won her first major senior medals in 1998 with Commonwealth bronzes at the 400 metres and the sprint relay and a European Championship bronze with the 4 x 400 relay. By now she was a training partner of Cathy Freeman and when Freeman won the Olympic gold in that famous race in Sydney, Fraser finished in fourth place whilst breaking the 50 second barrier for the only time in her career. She missed most of the intervening years with injury but returned for her third Olympic Games in Athens where she was a part of the 4 x 400 relay team that crossed the line in fourth place. When fit she was a valuable member of the relay team and won two more bronze medals at the Worlds in 2005 and 2007. Fraser qualified for her fourth Olympic team in 2008 but this time was an unused member of the relay squad in Beijing. She retired from international athletics in 2009 although she continued to compete at club level. In February 2010 the IAAF announced that American Crystal Cox had her results annulled, due to an admission of doping, for the period including the 2004 Olympics. Cox ran in the heats of the 4 x 400 relay in Athens and IAAF rules state that in these circumstances Cox’s team has to be disqualified. The second anniversary of this announcement passed in early 2012 with no decision having been made as to the reallocation of medals. But in 2013, both the IAAF and the IOC announced that the result would stand and the American squad (except Cox) would be allowed to retain their gold medals and that they now considered the case closed.
Personal Best\: 400 – 49.79 (2000).