Shayna Jack has reportedly denied Swimming Australia’s assertion that it was her idea not to go public with news of her positive drug test, claiming she was “pressured to keep quiet.”
Under fire for not revealing Jack’s positive test before the world championships, Swimming Australia boss Leigh Russell said their hands were tied because only Jack or ASADA could go public with it due to privacy reasons.
Russell said Jack wanted to wait until after the world championships in South Korea in fear it would distract her teammates competing.
But on Wednesday, those claims were seemingly blown out of the water.
News Corp has quoted an ‘insider’ close to Jack that the 21-year-old wanted to go public with news of the positive test straight away but “was told not to speak up.”
The insider allegedly claims Jack “was prevented from saying goodbye to her teammates when she was told about the test results at training camp earlier this month and advised not to tell any of her friends.
“She reportedly asked Swimming Australia’s senior bosses on several occasions if she could go public with the news, but was not told to speak up.”
Russell has reportedly written a letter to members of the Australian swim team and their parents, placing the blame on Jack.
“It was Shayna’s decision when to speak on her matter and she told us that given the team was in competition mode at a benchmark event, her decision was to speak at the conclusion of the worlds, so that her teammates could fully focus on performance,” Russell reportedly says in the letter.
Swimming Australia slammed
Critics have taken aim at SA after they remained silent when the sprinter was told her A sample had tested positive to a non-steroid anabolic agent popular with bodybuilders - Ligandrol - on July 12.
She was sent home the same day from Australia's world titles training camp in Japan, citing "personal reasons".
It led to the awkward situation where the few SA officials who knew of Jack's positive test could only look on silently as Olympic champion Mack Horton launched an anti-doping protest at the world titles in South Korea, completely oblivious of the fact his former teammate had tested positive.
Then eyebrows were raised when Jack revealed on Instagram on Sunday that her B sample also tested positive on July 19, two days before the world titles started at Gwangju.
Russell had only referred to an A sample when she addressed the media on Sunday to slam Jack's positive test as "bitterly disappointing and embarrassing for the national swimming team, the sport and the country".
Russell also indicated they were still waiting on the B test.
She said confidentiality required by SA's agreement with national anti-doping body ASADA didn't allow them to reveal Jack's initial A sample test.
Russell said Jack had been planning to reveal the A sample positive test after the world titles ended on Sunday so it would not be a distraction for the Dolphins.
But the truth came out on Saturday when media reports broke that Jack's A sample had tested positive, creating a major distraction for the Australian team that still had two days left in their world titles campaign at Gwangju.