Accused drug cheat Shayna Jack’s swimming career has been saved as a court rules she did not knowingly take banned black market muscle-builder Ligandrol.
The 22-year-old was sent home ahead of the FINA World Championships in South Korea after she returned a positive drug sample from a competition in Cairns in 2019.
Despite maintaining she would never take performance-enhancing drugs, the Australian Sports Anti-doping Authority handed the maximum suspension of four years – which would have ended her swimming career.
On Monday, Jack announced she was found innocent by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) after 17 months’ deliberation, and will only serve two years of her sentence.
On Monday, Shayna Jack (pictured) announced she was found innocent by the Court of Arbitration for Sport after 17 months
The 22-year-old was sent home ahead of the FINA World Championships in South Korea in 209 after she returned a positive drug sample from a competition in Cairns in 2019
‘The CAS have confirmed in emphatic terms that I did not intentionally, knowingly or recklessly use Ligandrol in any manner,’ she wrote.
‘There was no evidence produced by my accusers as to how this substance entered my system.’
‘With the time out of the sport dating back to July 2019, I will be eligible to return to competitive swimming by July 2021.’
While the freestyle champion lamented her two-year suspension, she said the ruling had ultimately lifted her confidence and she accepted the decision ‘with gratitude that my career as a swimmer will resume next year’.
Her legal team was unable to find enough evidence to remove all charges and it is still not known how the banned substance found its way into her system.
The amount found in her samples was minuscule and the judge found her case was believable.
‘There was no evidence produced by my accusers as to how this substance entered my system,’ Jack wrote
‘The CAS have confirmed in emphatic terms that I did not intentionally, knowingly or recklessly use Ligandrol in any manner,’ she wrote on Instagram (pictured)
Jack will not be able to compete in the Tokyo 2021 Olympics but the Queensland swimmer is thrilled with the ruling, having endured being labelled a ‘disgrace’ since 2019.
Fans flocked to the comments section to offer their congratulations.
‘This is fantastic!!!! So happy for you you! Well done!’ one woman wrote.
‘YES! Can’t wait to see you around pool deck again,’ shared another.
‘This is the best news Shayna! Never doubted you! Onwards and upwards!’ someone else said.
Gold medalists Shayna Jack, Bronte Campbell, Emma Mckeon and Cate Campbell of Australia pose during the medal ceremony for the Women’s 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay Final on day one of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games
Australian swimmer Shayna Jack (left)) arrives with her mother Pauline for a hearing with the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Agency in August 2019
In June, Jack fell victim to a sickening extortion attempt while appealing against her four-year suspension.
Jack reported several disturbing messages she received to Queensland Police and CAS, The Daily Telegraph previously reported.
The hacker messaged the Commonwealth Games gold medalist’s Facebook account and threatened to post pictures of her.
‘If you don’t pay – you will regret this,’ the hacker said.
They also referenced the positive Ligandrol reading that Jack returned ahead of the 2019 World Swimming Championships in South Korea.
Jack contacted Queensland Police on Monday and hired an IT specialist to secure her personal details.
A hacker attempted to blackmail banned Australian swimmer Shayna Jack (pictured), 21, over the weekend and threatened to post pictures and messages from her Facebook account
Pictured: When Jack ignored the hacker’s threats and requests for money, a post appeared on her Facebook account that said she ‘used doping in the 2017 Olympics’
She then received more threats demanding money around 9.40pm on Monday night.
‘I can see what you’re doing at all times,’ the hacker wrote.
Jack chose to ignore the threat and received a warning that something ‘disturbing’ would be posted if she failed to respond.
The swimmer woke to find a message from the hacker posted to her Facebook account.
The hacker sent Jack (pictured) a number of disturbing messages that said ‘I can see what you’re doing at all times’ and ‘if you don’t pay – you will regret this’
‘I regret that I used doping at the 2017 Olympics,’ the post read – despite the fact no Olympic Games were held that year.
Her lawyer, Tim Fuller, said the extortion attempt was ‘disgusting’ and had ‘shaken’ the young woman.
She regularly protested her innocence and denied knowingly taking the drug.
‘It’s something that is so far-fetched from what I’d ever think would happen to me,’ Jack told The Sunday Project last year.
Jack (pictured) is set to appeal against a four-year swimming suspension after she tested positive for banned muscle-builder Ligandrol last July
WHAT IS LIGANDROL?
Lisandrol drastically increases muscle mass.
It is what pharmacists call a selective androgen receptor modulator (SARM).
These drugs bind at specific sites on skeletal muscles. There, they initiate a cascade of processes which change the expression of different genes in the DNA of muscle cells. The end effect is an increase in the repair and growth of muscle.
This means Ligandrol works in a similar way to testosterone and anabolic steroids, although SARMs typically have fewer side effects.
The typical side effects of anabolic steriods can include short-term aggression and violence, acne, and sleeping difficulties, and long-term effects such as damage to the liver and kidneys, depression, and high blood pressure.
Because Ligandrol can potentially be used to gain an advantage in competitive sports, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) placed the drug on its prohibited list.
Source: The University of Sydney