Fellow athlete's reduced ban adds ray of hope for Shayna Jack

Sam Goodwin
Sports Editor

Shayna Jack’s prospects of avoiding the maximum suspension for testing positive to a banned substance have seemingly been boosted.

Jack is looking at a potential four-year ban after Ligandrol was found in her system - a suspension that would all-but end the swimmer’s career.

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However a similar case involving an American athlete offers hope for Jack.

On Monday, the US anti-doping agency announced that karate star Joane Orbon had been banned for nine months for testing positive to di-hydroxy-LGD-4033 - a metabolite of Lignadrol.

The 24-year-old Olympic hopeful got her ban reduced because she successfully proved that the she had inadvertently ingested the banned substance via a contaminated supplement.

A WADA-accredited lab reportedly found evidence that a supplement Orbin was taking when she provided a urine sample had a number of contaminated batches in circulation.

Jack has vehemently denied taking Ligandrol knowingly and is expected to use the same defence as Orbon.

Shayna Jack arrives to meet with ASADA. (Photo by TERTIUS PICKARD/AFP/Getty Images)

A similar case involving a Japanese swimmer will also provide a ray of hope.

Junya Koga was also hit with a four-year ban after testing positive in March last year for Ostarine and Ligrandrol.

However, Koga's four-year suspension has been reduced to two years after it was found that his supplements may have been contaminated.

Jack vows to clear her name

The 20-year-old freestyle swimmer was withdrawn from the Aussie team days before the world championships in South Korea, having tested positive for Ligandrol in an out-of-competition test on June 26.

After a briefing with Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) officials in Brisbane two weeks ago, Jack said investigations were under way to clear her.

"We've started the process which is really great," she told reporters.

"I'm really happy with how everything's going and I'm not going to stop until I prove my innocence and fight to get myself back in the pool because that's my dream and I'm never going to let that go."

Shayna Jack is facing a four-year ban. (Photo by Delly Carr/Getty Images)

Jack, a member of Australia's 4x100m freestyle relay team which set the world record at the Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast last year, reiterated her claim that she did not know how the drug entered her body.

"It's still ongoing investigations, we can't clear that with anyone at the moment," she said.

"We're still looking into it but we're not going to let any stone unturned."

Jack revealed her drug test on social media in the final days of the world championships, embarrassing the team after compatriot and Olympic champion Mack Horton declined to share a podium with Chinese swimmer Sun Yang in an act of protest.

with agencies