Swimmer Jack to return after doping ban

Steve Larkin
·2-min read

Australia's Shayna Jack says she'll return to swimming with a clear conscience when her reduced doping suspension ends next year.

Jack's four-year ban has been halved but she'll still miss next year's Tokyo Olympics.

The Queenslander was initially banned 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 the Queenslander did not knowingly take the banned substance.

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 calling for empathy for Jack.

"The approach to anti-doping is deliberately strong and needs to be ... we have a zero tolerance approach to doping and always will," Swimming Australia said in a statement on Tuesday.

"However, this does not mean that we cannot demonstrate care and empathy for young people who are part of our community, who are thrust into a complex system that can be overwhelming, often confusing and confronting.

"It must not be forgotten that athletes have rights in the anti-doping system, one of these rights is confidentiality.

"Shayna is a young and driven athlete and we hope the outcome of the hearing enables her to move forward after a difficult period."