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Jack vows to clear her name after testing positive for banned substance

Shayna Jack

Sydney, August 2: Australian swimmer Shayna Jack has vowed to clear her name after testing positive for a banned substance prior to the World Championships.

Jack, a 4x100M freestyle relay gold medallist at the Commonwealth Games last year, returned an adverse result for muscle growth agent Ligandrol on June 26, prompting Swimming Australia to provisionally suspend her and fly her home from South Korea.

The B sample also proved positive, meaning the 20-year-old could potentially face a four-year ban from the sport.

Jack has maintained her innocence throughout and says the adverse finding "just doesn't make any sense".

Speaking after a four-hour meeting with officials from the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority, she said it was a mystery how the substance got into her system.

"It's still an ongoing investigation so we can't clear that with anyone at the moment," she stated. "We're still looking into it but we're not going to leave any stone unturned.

"I'm really happy with how everything is going and I'm not going to stop until I prove my innocence.

"I will fight to get back into the pool because that's my dream and I'm never going to let that go."

Follow the link in my Bio for my truth - Shayna Jack

A post shared by Shayna Jack (@shayna_jack) on

In an Instagram post, Jack also discussed the impact the situation has had on her.

She wrote: "I feel a sense of emptiness. I think of what I have worked so hard for all being taken away from me, and I had done nothing wrong.

"Ever since I was 10 years old, I have wanted to be on the Australian swim team, to represent my country. I never swam for the medals; they were always an added bonus. I swam for the feeling you get when you stand behind the blocks in a gold cap. The feeling you get when you race in a relay with a group of amazing women and feel a sense of purpose and success.

"I pride myself on being the woman that young girls look up to and want to be like, not for the medals I win, but for the way I present myself day in, day out, around the pool and in everyday life.

"Now I feel like that can all be taken away because of some sort of contamination; no athlete is safe from the risks of contamination.

"Reminding myself of why I swim and why I want to be in the Australian team is what has kept me fighting. The day I found out was the day I began my fight to prove my innocence.

"Myself, along with my lawyer, management team, doctor and family have been working continuously to not only prove my innocence but to try to find out how this substance has come into contact with me, to ensure it doesn't happen to anyone else, as I wouldn't wish this experience on my worst enemy.

"Every day I wake up and have a rollercoaster of a day. Some days I am okay and others I am not.

"This will be an ongoing challenge, not only with trying to prove my innocence to ensure I can get back to training for the dream I have had since I was a little girl, but also the challenge of facing judgement from people who don't know me; people who will just assume the worst."

Jack also claimed two silver medals and two bronze in relay events at the 2017 World Championships.

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Story first published: Friday, August 2, 2019, 14:10 [IST]
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