Shayna Jack Has Doping Ban Reduced, But Will Miss Tokyo Games; Sisters in Sport Offering Support

shayna-jack
SHAYNA BACK ON DECK: Shayna Jack will return to the pool in July 2021. Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr (Swimming Australia)

Shayna Jack Has Doping Ban Reduced, But Will Miss Tokyo Games; Sisters in Sport Offering Support

Australian swimming’s golden girls Cate Campbell and Libby Trickett, have led a flood of support following news of Shayna Jack’s 2021 return to the pool after the banned freestyle star had her four-year doping suspension reduced by two-years by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

Although Jack will still be ineligible for the re-scheduled 2021 Tokyo Olympics, the Brisbane-based freestyler can for the first time in 16 months rest easy with finality and some solace, since her world caved in with news of her positive test to Ligandrol on the eve of last year’s FINA World Championships in Gwangju.

Shayna Jack posted on her Instagram tonight when the news broke that “CAS has confirmed in emphatic terms that I did not intentionally , knowingly or recklessly use Ligandrol, in any manner.

“The anti-doping rules are far from satisfactory and can produce results that are far from fair. In my case, I have proven that I have NOT ever cheated, nor used prohibited substances intentionally or knowingly,” she wrote on Instagram.

“I cannot change the rules and the rules will remain as they are for the time being. Therefore, I accept this decision with a positive attitude and with gratitude that my career as a swimmer will resume next year.

“I have never doubted myself for a minute throughout this ordeal and I have never allowed my integrity to be compromised. I walk a little taller tonight with the fact that this ordeal is finally over. I am returning to swimming – the sport that I have loved all my life and the sport that I will cherish just that little bit more ongoing.”

And that is a win. A gold medal moment for a girl who has proclaimed her innocence from day one. And support came thick and fast for Shayna Jack.

Campbell, her gold medal-winning team mate in Australia’s 4x100m freestyle teams at the Pan Pacs and the Commonwealth Games and former training partner, has said: “Shayna! You have been so strong throughout everything. Sending love your way.”

Trickett, the former world record holder and Olympic champion said: “Wonderful news. So happy to hear it.”

Shayna Jack FINIS

TIME TO REFLECT AND REALIGN: Shayna Jack ready to re-start her engine. Photo Courtesy: FINIS

Campbell and Trickett were joined by teen sensation Kaylee McKeown, who sizzled with her Australian and Commonwealth backstroke records on the weekend, who said: “Proud of You! Never once gave up on fighting it.

Fellow Dolphins “sisters” Minna Atherton, Blair Evans, Taylor McKeown, Madi Wilson, Lani Pallister and Brianna Throssell joined in almost 500 Instagram posts of support as it approached midnight in Brisbane.

No doubt Shayna and family will be up most of the night in celebration mode and those figures of support will no doubt continue it rise in the hours, days, weeks and months ahead as she plans her future.

Shayna Jack can resume her swimming career next July but won’t be part of the rescheduled Tokyo 2021 Games.

She says she’ll “walk a little taller” now, with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) halving the Aussie swimmer’s doping ban after it was deemed she didn’t intentionally take a banned substance.

Jack in 2019 was initially suspended by ASADA for four years after returning a positive sample to the banned drug Ligandrol at a training camp ahead of the world championships.

The lengthy appeal process to CAS paid off for Jack, whose four-year ban was reduced to two, commencing on the date of her provisional suspension (July 12, 2019).

CAS found that Jack “did not intentionally ingest Ligandrol and considered that she had discharged her onus of proving that the anti-doping rule violation was not intentional”.

The reduced sentence, however, still means Shayna Jack will be unable to feature in the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics as she won’t have enough time to qualify. The earliest she could swim for Australia would be at the swimming world championships in May 2022.

Jack headlined her Instagram post with:  ‘INNOCENT!”

” In my case, I have proven that I have NOT ever cheated, nor used prohibited substances intentionally or knowingly,” Shayna Jack wrote on Instagram.

“I want to thank everyone who has been in my corner – my family has ben my rock and my partner has been my godsend. My team mates and supporting public have been a source of strengthened I cement b e anymore appreciative.

“I’m going to take some time to reflect and realign my goals and aspirations for the future now that I finally have a resolution for this case.”

The 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham – four years after her Gold Coast triumphs in 2018, may well be Shayna’s second coming.

And won’t that be something worth waiting for.

STATEMENT FROM SWIMMING AUSTRALIA

In a statement released Tuesday morning, Swimming Australia said: ” The outcome from the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) brings our athlete, Shayna Jack certainty after an incredibly challenging time for her and the sport over the last 18 months.

“Swimming Australia has always respected the process that is in place to protect the system, sports, and importantly, the athlete by allowing them due process and, in turn, we respect the decision CAS has announced.

“In Shayna’s case, the Sole Arbitrator in charge found, on the balance of probabilities, that she did not intentionally ingest ligandrol and considered that she had discharged her onus of proving that the anti-doping rule violation was not intentional.

“The approach to anti-doping is deliberately strong and needs to be – to protect the athletes and more broadly, the sport. We have a zero tolerance approach to doping and always will – this is our responsibility. However, this does not mean that we cannot demonstrate care and empathy for young people who are part of our community, who are thrust into a complex system that can be overwhelming, often confusing and confronting. 

“It must not be forgotten that athletes have rights in the anti-doping system, one of these rights is confidentiality.  It is unacceptable for the privacy of athletes to be compromised or for their wellbeing to be impacted as a result.

“Shayna is a young and driven athlete, and we hope the outcome of the hearing enables her to move forward after a difficult period for her and her family.

“Swimming Australia will continue to offer Shayna support and she will be free to return to the sport at the conclusion of her sanction which is 12 July 2021.”

2 comments

  1. avatar
    AUS Swimmer

    It is sickening that a 2-year suspension for use of a banned substance is found to be a cause for celebration here. She had ligandrol in her system. Where are the detailed findings and report of the arbitrator? A one-page, summary media release is wholly insufficient.

  2. avatar
    Anonymous

    nonsense
    two years for not intentionally doping is too harsh
    how much ligandrol can be in a person’s system before it is deemed to be a doping offence
    the whole process is flawed
    her case should have been heard sooner

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