Jack vows to ‘win this fight’ as doping appeal looms

A defiant Shayna Jack has vowed to clear her name and get back into training for the Tokyo Olympics after finally getting a hearing date for her anti-doping appeal.

Stripped of all her funding and banned from practising with her teammates and coach, the heartbroken Queenslander has been suffering in silence for nearly a year, waiting for the chance to prove her innocence.

Handed a four year ban by the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority after testing positive to Ligandrol at a training camp before last year's world championships, she will get her opportunity after receiving notification from the Court of Arbitration hearing will be heard soon, though she did not specify the date.

"Now the real fight begins," Jack posted on her Instagram account, accompanied with a picture of her shadow boxing.

"I intend to win this fight and put myself back in the pool and reclaim my position as a member of the Australian swim team.

"Everyone knows what it is like to have something precious taken away from them and I am no different."

One of Australia's most exciting up and coming swim stars, Jack maintains she did not knowingly take the banned substance.

It is understood the traces found in her sample were tiny, substantiating the 21-year-old's claim the only way the banned substance could have got into her system was by contamination.

 

Jack seen arriving for a briefing with ASADA, along with her lawyer, in August last year.
Jack seen arriving for a briefing with ASADA, along with her lawyer, in August last year.

 

Even so, under the strict anti-doping zero policy regulations, the onus is on Jack and her lawyers to convince the CAS that she did not knowingly take the substance in order to be cleared, or receive a reduced sentence.

"There are many aspects of the anti-doping system that are seriously flawed but possibly the worst element is the presumption of guilt that one has to bear," she said.

"What sort of system infers that you are guilty of an alleged breach and the responsibility falls on you to prove your innocence?"

Jack, a member of the Australian relay team that set the current 4x100m freestyle world record at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, did not testify at her ASADA case but will take the stand for the CAS hearing, which will be conducted via video link because of the COVID-19 travel restrictions.

The hefty ban she has already received from ASADA will have no bearing on her appeal whatsoever because her CAS appeal will be treated as a fresh trial and the 12-month postponement of the Olympics has given her fresh hope she can make it to Tokyo if the ban is reduced and backdated to June 2019, when she was stood down from the national team.

"Regaining my team membership and opportunity to competitively swim again is not my sole objective,' she said.

"Not everyone will fight a flawed system and find themselves ostracised from their friends and support group for something they did not do. If you do though, stand up and fight and know that your honour will always be defended if you tell the truth."

Originally published as Jack vows to 'win this fight' as doping appeal looms



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