Cate Campbell has hit out at the ‘despicable’ treatment of Shayna Jack after the vindicated Aussie swimmer was compared to Donald Trump.
Jack's four-year doping ban was halved on Tuesday, however she’ll still miss next year’s Tokyo Olympics.
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The Queenslander was initially suspended four years when the banned substance Ligandrol was found in her sample from an out-of-competition test before last year’s world championships.
Jack appealed the suspension to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), which reduced her doping ban to two years and found she did not knowingly take the banned substance.
On Wednesday, national teammate Campbell lashed out at how fans and the media had treated Jack.
“I think the hysteria that has surrounded Shayna’s case has been despicable, on so many counts. You have people up on domestic violence charges, sexual assault charges, they get two days in the media,” Campbell told the Sydney Morning Herald.
“This girl was hounded and on the front page of newspapers for weeks on end. She’s had this nightmare drawn out for the past 17 months.
“There has been a gross miscarriage when it comes to her treatment, which is disappointing and harmful for Shayna as a person.
“If you read the facts, you should be sympathetic. This is a complete accident and it could have happened to anyone. It could have been Cate Campbell. That’s the terrifying reality of being an elite athlete.”
However Richard Ings, the former head of the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority, isn’t convinced.
On Tuesday Ings likened Jack’s claims of innocence to Donald Trump’s assertions that he won the US election.
“Ms Jack you broke a fundamental rule of sport,” Ings wrote on Twitter.
“You had a banned substance in your system and you had significant fault for its presence. You received a global (two) year ban from any and all sporting competition.
“It isn't the maximum ban but it’s a significant ban for a significant breach of rules. I’d suggest acknowledging your fault in this.”
Shayna Jack vows to return to swimming
Jack’s ban will expire in July 2021, though she will be suspended during the selection process for the postponed Tokyo Games that start in late July.
But the 22-year-old is vowing to return to swimming, relieved the CAS ruling cleared her of deliberate doping.
“The CAS have confirmed in emphatic terms that I did not intentionally, knowingly or recklessly use Ligandrol in any manner,” Jack posted on Instagram.
“I have proven that I have not ever cheated, nor used prohibited substances intentionally or knowingly.”
Jack said she would accept the two-year ban “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,” she wrote.
“I walk a little taller ... 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.”
Swimming Australia welcomed the CAS verdict while also calling for empathy for Jack.
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