Swimming Australia says failed drug test “disappointing”
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Australian swimmer Shayna Jack, who was forced to withdraw from the World Championships in South Korea after failing a drug test, has revealed she tested positive for the substance Ligandrol.
In a lengthy statement on Instagram Sunday Jack, 20, also revealed she was told on July 19 her B sample had tested positive for the same substance.
Jack said she did not know how she consumed Ligandrol — a substance she said can be found in contaminated supplements.
In a statement titled “the day my life turned upside down” Jack detailed how she learned she had failed a drug test in a telephone conversation with an official of the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Agency (ASADA).
Jack said the official “also went on to explain what was found in my system. I had never heard of it before let alone (knew) how to pronounce it.
“She said it was Ligandrol. I now know this can be found in contaminated substance.”
Jack added “no athlete is safe from the risks of contamination.”
She said he had engaged a lawyer and would fight to clear her name.
“Deep down I shouldn’t have to defend my reputation as I know I didn’t do this,” she said.
“I have never missed a random drug test and I always have my whereabouts up to date. In Australia in a sport like swimming I feel there is no possible way for an athlete to intentionally take a banned substance and not get caught.”
Earlier Sunday the chief executive of Australian Swimming said Jack’s failed test was bitterly disappointing and embarrassing for the national swimming team, the sport and the country.
CEO Leigh Russell said Jack was notified of the result following an out-of-competition drug test on June 26 that led to her being suspended from the Australian team and sent home from its pre-worlds training camp in Japan.
Russell said Swimming Australia’s agreement with ASADA included a confidentiality clause which prevented it revealing news of Jack’s test at the time she was notified.
Jack said she did not tell her teammates she had failed a drug test because “I respect my teammates and my sport too much to take away their moment so I returned home and said nothing.”
Russell told reporters in Melbourne “I do want to say that while an Australian athlete returning an adverse result is both bitterly disappointing and embarrassing to our team, our sport and our country, it does not in any way change the zero tolerance view that Swimming Australia has and our continuing fight for a clean sport,” Russell said.
She said Swimming Australia is supporting Jack while ASADA’s investigation is continuing.
“We’re told by ASADA that it can take some months,” Russell said. “So we’re not expecting a very quick resolution to this process.
“I also want to make it clear that Shayna is entitled to a natural justice and a fair process and that process is continuing.”
Jack’s failed test comes in the week that Australian swimmer Mack Horton refused to share the podium with China star Sun Yang because of his concern about doping allegations surrounding Yang. Horton’s stand has been described as hypocritical.
Russell said she was “distressed” to see Horton make his protest while being unaware of Jack’s positive test.”
“I think that Mack has made a stand for something that he truly believes in,” Russell said. “I think we actually have the same stance.”