Australia Swim CEO: Jack Failed Test “Bitterly Disappointing and Embarrassing”

In a press conference today at the Swimming Australia headquarters, Swimming Australia CEO Leigh Russell declined to release the name of the substance that World Record holder Shayna Jack tested positive for that has kept her out of the World Championships.

Jack was originally scheduled to be racing in Gwangju this week at the World Championships, but returned home to Australia from the training camp for what was originally announced as “personal reasons.” It later turned out that those reasons were because Jack had tested positive for a banned substance.

Russell says that they do know the substance that Jack tested positive for, but would not share it with the media. In their earlier statement, Swimming Australia said that “under the specific legislation governing Australia‘s drug testing regime, Swimming Australia is notified of any adverse test result as is WADA and FINA. Under the process, all details are required to remain confidential until ASADA has completed its investigations, the athlete is afforded due process and an outcome determined.”

While Russell’s original statement, released on Friday Australia time, reiterated the organization’s hardline stance against doping (which has been highlighted this week by its athletes in Gwangju), in the press conference she offered both criticism and support for Jack.

“I am concerned for her as I would be anybody in this particular situation,” she said. “She will have unprecedented pressure placed upon her and I think that it would be good of us to remember that we are dealing and managing with a young person who is in a situation she’s never found herself in before.”

Jack is 20 years old, and Russell says that their is a formal support system in place to ensure athletes receive a fair process.

At one point in the press conference, however, Russell referred to the failed test as “bitterly disappointing and embarrassing,”

Russell also commented that she believes that Mack Horton would have moved forward with his protest of China’s Sun Yang, even if he knew about Jack’s pending proceedings. She said that Jack was trying to wait until after her teammates finished competing at the World Championships to announce the results of the test, and defended the organization’s policy to not speak publicly until either the Australian Sport Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA), or the athlete, announced the failed test.

This year’s World Championships has already seen two swimmers refuse to stand on the podium with China’s Sun Yang, the man who is seeking a public CAS hearing this Fall. One of the men refusing to acknowledge Sun in photographs was Mack Horton of Australia, who says the sport has no room for drug cheats, although now his countrymate is under the spotlight.

In terms of the International Swimming League (ISL), Jack had been named to the U.S.-based Cali Condors and her status there is now in potential jeopardy in light of this news. The league has been very vocal about zero-tolerance, a policy which has shut out the likes of past positive testers like the aforementioned Sun and Russia’s Yuliya Efimova, but has also denied non-positive testers like Thomas Fraser-Holmes.

Loretta Race contributed to this report.

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He ain’t wrong tho


No room for cheats at alllll


Midterm Exam. Teacher: Horton, why don’t you work on your paper, instead of staring at Sun? Horton: cheater. Teacher: Scott, why do you stand in the back of classroom instead of working? Scott: I am team Horton. Teacher: Sun, why did you yell at Scott? Sun: He kept whining by my ears. Peaty: All of us for Horton. Teacher: For the rest of you, do you agree? The rest: mumbling……. Teacher: Ms. King, why did you always look at others’ paper? Here I DQ you. King: I strongly protest. I bet you don’t have video to show for it. ……. King: I admitted that I looked at others’ paper. Although Ms. Obama caught me in the National 4 years ago,… Read more »


very good one!!!!


So protest her like you did Sun Yang….

Philip Johnson

She got kicked off the team, Yang didn’t.


Yang didn’t fail a test since serving the one in 2014


Yep, but even then he never stopped competing.


FINA cleared Sun to compete.
Shayna was sent Home by FINA pending a full investigation.
Very different .
Hey Troy- please show us u actually are an educated person. And not a mentally deficient Bogan.
I detect lots of racism from u judging from your comments in all other threads against the Chinese


I thought Swimming Australia sent her home, not FINA. It was their due diligence.

CT Swim Fan

The one where mama and the doctor smashed his blood vials should and still might be considered a failed drug test. Not sure why that was thought to be OK. If he had complaints about the test or testers, there are policies in place for him to protest. His entourage chose to not avail themselves of those things. If he was clean he would have followed the rules and filed his concerns about the test using the proper methods.


Oh yeah, he just destroyed blood vials…totally the actions of a clean athlete…


hmm I do wonder why someone whose handle implies some level of tertiary education would think it is a good idea for unaccredited “testers” to walk away with your blood samples. You are either are wilfully ignorant or more likely just a typical prejudiced mofo


Lochte effectively over-hydrated himself via an IV and is banned from this meet (to be clear, a suspension that I agree with), but Sun Yang can have his blood vials smashed and be eligible to compete? Sit down with that “prejudiced” nonsense. Whether it’s Jack, Yang, or Efimova, I want failed drug tests out of the picture. Lochte is banned for what was basically just rehydrating from a hangover, and he didn’t even fail a drug test, so there goes your “Sun Yang didn’t fail a drug test” argument. I want to reiterate how absurd it is that someone smashed their blood samples with a hammer and is eligible to compete. On a secondary note, refrain from commenting on my… Read more »


i wonder if you would let some unqualified “testers” walk away with your blood sample. the test is not legal in the first place, anyone would do the same thing

13 % Chinese person

She was not . The Australian media got the message 2 days ago to pile on Sun with character assassinations & judgements fom assorted ( unknown to me) media ppl . Almost identical ideas about how lounging over lane ropes is a character flaw & artogance . Blah blah blah .

Ill wait to see both processes go forward but Shayna was no more open than Sun . Nor were many others that we only heard about later .


I don’t understand what ur saying

13 % Chinese person

Thats ok I csn never unders5and what Scots are saying . I once watched a whole series of Taggart & finally got to understand , then he died . They brought in a new actor with a new accent & I was back to sq 1 .

Ol' Longhorn

That’s some Deep State sh*t there.


Why should he get kicked off the team if he has not tested positive since 2014?


Because he destroyed his blood samples from a drug test…??? This isn’t difficult to follow


did you really go to college? see comment above


Yeah, it’s hard to test positive after you destroy your blood samples. But why would a clean athlete destroy blood samples? If you don’t show up to a drug test in any occupation at all, it is considered a positive test. If you destroy your blood samples, you are CLEARLY hiding something. Sun Yang should not have been competing at this meet.


Yes, protest Jack for doping. That’s what Horten champions… Clean sport. Spot on mate.

Jambo Sana

Yang is stealing World Championship Titles and medals from clean athletes. Jacks is sitting on her butt in Australia hurting no one but herself. If Jacks was competing with her positive test, you can be damn sure she would get the same treatment as Sun Yang. Blood doping is not a victimless crime.


Jambo Sana spelt backwards is anas obmaj. Coincidence, I think not.


best comment yet

Bring back textiles

Until the hearing, i’m not going to call out Yang as a doper. Fina has tested him in Feb and May of this year and he’s cleared both of them. He’s also tested with other organizations throughout this year and has passed. He’s had one incident where he tested positive for a substance that was only banned by FINA 4 months prior, while efimova has tested positive for a substance on 6 different occasions, and efimova didn’t get any flack this year even though she won the 2breast group ( yeah i know, king probably would’ve won that). I’m just saying we are all too quick to call Yang as a doper and we should respect his golds as he… Read more »


This comment is spot on.


Her own country literally pulled her from the meet following this result. Please, stop. Australia Swimming did the right thing, and historically have always done the right thing. They do very well with respecting our sport. Very unfair to compare them to the Sun Yang situation

Jambo Sana

Hey China – This is EXACTLY how you deal with a positive drug test!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It sucks for Australia, but I love all the Aussies competing more because I am confident they are clean.

Carlos Elias

Clean? you mean have their showers


Did Yang test positive?. No. She did. Furthermore, he was cleared to complete by the doping panel.


Yang DID GET FOUND GUILTY IN 2014, and China covered it up with a measly 3 month ban which was as served in SECRECY and conveniently lapses before Asian Games


i mean, efimova tested positive 6 times, and yet she didn’t get any flack these championships
Yang was tested more than 3 times this year, twice by fina and cleared both times.


For a drug that was legally in his system as it was found during the grace period for a newly banned drug


If it was legally in his system he would not have been banned. It was not legally in his system. He was banned for 3 months. Compared to 12 month bans a lot of other athletes get… like Jessica Hardy for instance.


Skipping a drug test is considered a “fail” by all doping agencies. Smashing the vials with hammers just takes that “skipping” to a whole new level.


Commented this a few minutes ago before seeing that you beat me to the punch. Completely agree.

Double Standard

The hearing is about the procedure issue last year and as a world-class and heavily spotted athlete he must have done more thorough tests and Yang didn’t fail a single test since serving the one in 2014. Shayna is positive and still some people believe in the presumption of innocence, why didn’t those good-willing come to Yang?

We don’t know the answer because today all australian swimmers in korea declined to comment except campbell.


Sun Yang has failed a test, and was subsequently found guilty. He then continued to work with Ba Zhen, his suspended personal Dr, while Ba was still officially suspended. He was so bold as to be pictured on deck with him at the Asian Games. There is no goodwill extended to Sun because he has consistently proven himself to be a liar and a cheat. As for Jack – My opinion is as it always is; This may well be a mistake, it may not, but the privilege of being an elite athlete comes with expectations – That you are solely and entirely responsible for what enters your body. Negligence is no excuse – She has failed a test and… Read more »

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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