Australian swimmer Shayna Jack’s diet may hold answers to banned substance detection

Tuesday, 30 Jul, 2019

"I didn't intentionally take this substance; I didn't even know it was in my system".

The mystery surrounding Australian swim star Shayna Jack's withdrawal from the team ahead of the World Championships in South Korea has been revealed.

Swimming Australia has refuted allegations it embarked on a cover-up, despite failing to publicise the swimmer's situation when it knew the real reason for her absence.

Swimming Australia claims it does not have the authority to release the names of swimmers who return positive tests - which is debatable - but ASADA certainly does and it should have been urged to do so by the swimming body.

He said Jack had been "denied the opportunity" to compete at the world championships and come home with a gold medal like her teammates, and added it had been an "incredibly hard time" for her.

But Swimming Australia chief executive Leigh Russell has declared the organisation is comfortable with its decision to follow the policies and process guidelines it shares with ASADA.

"That was my call, in retrospect, we could have done that differently", Russell said.

In a post on Instagram, Jack, who yesterday revealed the positive test was the reason behind her mysterious disappearance from the event in Gwangju, said she had learned her "A" sample contained the substance on July 12 before confirmation on her "B" sample came a week later. She has since been working with her lawyer, management team, doctor, and family to prove her innocence and try to figure out how the banned substance came into contact with her.

This news has prompted many critics to question why Swimming Australia didn't immediately announce why Jack was not in South Korea with the rest of the Dolphins team, when it had two positive samples.

Earlier in the Championships, Jack's Australian group-mate Mack Horton refused to portion the rostrum with China's controversial gold medallist Sun Yang after the 400m freestyle.

Teammate Cate Campbell said she had been in the dark about the positive test but added that Jack's absence from the worlds was proof of Australia's anti-doping commitment.

While Swimming Australia will continue to provide support for Jack during the investigation, they remain clear on their approach to any performance-enhancing drugs. She's [Jack] not here [in Gwangju] and it shows that the Australian system works.

She said she expected the failed drug test would not deter Mack Horton and others who have publicly protested against Chinese swimmer Sun Yang.

Sun received a three-month ban after testing positive for a banned substance in 2014, and is facing renewed allegations according to ABC.

"And I think actually we have the same stance, we absolutely do not want drugs in our sport".

Many of Sun's rivals believe he should not be competing, with the 27-year-old due to face a Court of Arbitration for Sport hearing in September over a separate doping offence.