Australia swimmer reveals cause of failed drug test

Jack was part of the relay team that won gold in the 4×100m freestyle at the 2018 Commonwealth Games

Australian swimmer Shayna Jack says she tested positive for anabolic agent Ligandrol and that her B sample has also confirmed the banned substance.

Jack, 20, said she “did not intentionally take this substance” and will “fight to clear my name”.

The news of the adverse test result was announced on Saturday, confirmed by Swimming Australia (SA) and Jack.

That came 13 days after Jack withdrew from the World Aquatics Championships in South Korea for “personal reasons”.

SA defended its handling of the case and admitted the situation was “embarrassing” and “disappointing”.

Jack’s announcement came days after her team-mate Mack Horton publicly protested against Chinese swimmer Sun Yang, having previously called him a “drug cheat”.

Four-time World Championship medallist Jack returned an adverse result in an out-of-competition test conducted by the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (Asada) on 26 June.

In a social media post entitled ‘The day my life turned upside down’, Jack says she was notified of the test results by Asada on 12 July. She was provisionally suspended by Swimming Australia and flew home from a training camp in Japan.

She says her team-mates were “informed of my departure, without any indication of what for”.

Then on 19 July she was told the B sample had also tested positive. The Asada investigations are ongoing.

“I didn’t intentionally take this substance; I didn’t even know it was in my system,” said Jack. “It just didn’t make any sense, and still doesn’t to this day.

“I did not and would not cheat and will continue to fight to clear my name.”

SA chief executive Leigh Russell says the governing body was bound by a confidentially agreement with Asada that prevented them from disclosing details until either Jack or Asada released details of the adverse test.

“I accept this is a frustrating position, but I also accept Shayna has a right to a fair process,” said Russell.

“She has told us that she was preparing to announce the adverse test result this week. She said she wanted to wait until her team-mates had finished competing.”

SA was also criticised for not having a member of the management or coaching staff face the media in Gwangju when the news broke on Saturday, leaving world and Olympic champion Cate Campbell to speak on behalf of the team.

“What has happened is embarrassing,” added Russell.

“It is bitterly disappointing, but it also does not change at all Swimming Australia’s view of the absolute necessity to have a clean sport and a sport that is drug-free.”

Earlier in the Championships, Horton refused to share the podium with Sun after the 400m freestyle. Britain’s Duncan Scott also refused to join Sun on the podium after winning bronze in the 200m freestyle, behind the Chinese.

Sun served a three-month ban in 2014 after testing positive for banned stimulant trimetazidine,

He also faces a fresh hearing at the Court of Arbitration for Sport in September, after the World Anti-doping Agency appealed against a decision to clear him of a separate doping offence.

When asked about Horton’s protests, when she knew of Jack’s adverse result, SA chief executive Russell said: “It was such a difficult one. I absolutely support Mack, he’s entitled to say and do that on an issue that he is passionate about and we are too. This has not changed our thinking on a zero-tolerance approach.

“I certainly was, watching Mack, distressed about what would befall both Shayna and Mack in the coming days and weeks.”

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