Commonwealth Games javelin gold medallist Bannister dies aged 33.
The 33-year-old won gold at the Delhi Commonwealth Games in 2010 and represented Australia at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics.
He had been living and training in the Netherlands with his girlfriend.
It is understood there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding his death.
“Athletics Australia is saddened and shocked to learn of the death of Jarrod Bannister,” said a statement released by the governing body.
“Jarrod’s mark of 89.02m is the current Australian record in javelin, set in Brisbane in 2008.
“Two years later, he won gold for his performance at the Delhi Commonwealth Games.
“It was the highlight of the many occasions that Bannister represented Australia which also included the Melbourne Commonwealth Games in 2006 and Beijing Olympic Games in 2008, and the 2011 IAAF World Championships in Daegu, South Korea.”
Athletics Australia CEO Darren Gocher paid tribute to Bannister.
“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,” he said.
Fellow athletes, including Sally Pearson and Kim Mickle, have taken to social media with tributes.