The sudden death of javelin champion Jarrod Bannister has shocked Australia's athletics fraternity.

Bannister, 33, died yesterday in The Netherlands, where he had been training and living. There were no suspicious circumstances.

Australia's world champion hurdler Sally Pearson led tributes to Bannister, posting on Twitter: "A talented athlete with so much more to give. You will be missed."

Olympic sprinter Melissa Breen posted on Twitter: "You were the best javelin thrower Australia has ever produced, but may this be a reminder that we are all more than results on a page."

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Athletics Australia chief executive Darren Gocher said the sport's peak organisation was shocked to learn of Bannister's death.

"On behalf of Athletics Australia, I extend our deepest condolences to Jarrod's family and friends and urge the athletics fraternity to support each other at this difficult time," Gocher said in a statement.

Bannister won javelin gold at the 2010 Commonwealth Games and finished sixth in the final at the 2008 Olympic Games. His personal best of 89.02 metres, set in Brisbane in 2008, remains the Australian record.

Former Olympian and renowned athletics commentator David Culbert described Bannister on Twitter as "a super athlete who sadly had many demons".

Bannister's last major competition came at the 2011 world championships in South Korea where he finished seventh in the javelin final.

Two years later, Bannister was banned for 20 months for failing three whereabouts drug tests.

- AAP