CAS Reduces Aussie Shayna Jack’s Ban From Four To Two Years

In March of this year, Australian swimmer Shayna Jack was handed a 4-year ban by the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA).

Today, November 16th, however, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has reduced Jack’s original four-year suspension down to two years after the organization agreed she did not intentionally take the banned substance.

As a refresher on the case, Jack returned home to Australia in the middle of the country’s final preparation camp for the 2019 World Aquatics Championships, at the time saying that her withdrawal was for “personal reasons.” It was later revealed that Jack had tested positive for the banned substance Ligandrol.

Jack has maintained her innocence since her positive test results were brought to light, stating, “I’m not going to stop until I prove my innocence. I’ll fight to get myself back into the pool because that’s my dream.”

At the time of her 4-year suspension result, Jack vowed to fight by appealing to CAS, primarily with the hopes of both clearing her name as well as being able to represent Australia at the 2020 Olympic Games, now postponed to 2021.

In June of this year, we reported how Jack’s CAS date was set but was being kept secret by all parties. “Now the real fight begins. Today I received further notice in relation to my hearing at CAS,” the freestyle ace posted on May 17th, 2020.

Her now-two-year ban has been backdated to July 12, 2019, which represents the date her provisional suspension came into effect. As such, her two-year ban will be lifted in the same month as the postponed Olympic Games, eliminating the possibility of Jack participating in Tokyo.

“On the balance of probability, Shayna Jack did not intentionally ingest Ligandrol and considered that she had discharged her onus of proving that the anti-doping rule violation was not intentional,” CAS stated in its decision.

CAS Ruling on Shayna Jack

On 2 January 2020, Shayna Jack filed a request for arbitration with the CAS Oceania Registry (CAS
first instance). A hearing took place on 25 and 28 September 2020 with participants attending either
in-person or by videoconference, due to the current sanitary restrictions.

The Sole Arbitrator in charge of this matter found, on the balance of probabilities, that Shayna Jack
did not intentionally ingest ligandrol and considered that she had discharged her onus of proving that
the anti-doping rule violation was not intentional.

As a consequence, the Sole Arbitrator imposed a reduced period of ineligibility of two years, commencing on the date of her provisional suspension. This first-instance decision may be challenged before the international CAS by any of the parties involved in this matter, and also by the International Swimming Federation (FINA) and by WADA.

Jack herself has taken again to social media today upon the decision.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport has tonight handed down a decision in my case after a long awaited 17months. The CAS have confirmed in emphatic terms that I did not intentionally, knowingly or recklessly use Ligandrol in any manner.  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.  The anti-doping rules are far from satisfactory and can produce results that are far from fair. In my case, I have proven that I have NOT ever cheated, nor used prohibited substances intentionally or knowingly. I will still incur two years out of the sport in which I love.  I cannot change the rules and the rules will remain as they are for the time being. Therefore, I accept this decision 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.  I walk a little taller tonight 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.  I want to thank everyone that has been in my corner – my family have been my rock and my partner has been a godsend.  My team-mates and supporting public have been a source of strength and I cannot be any more appreciative. I’m going to take some time to reflect and realign my goals and aspirations for the future, now that I finally have a resolution for this case. I look forward to sharing further events in relation to my experience at the appropriate time.

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7 months ago

can anyone provide me official notice of banned for 4 years

3 years ago

If proving intent becomes a necessary part of a “guilty ” finding, then it will be very hard too prove unless you have an organized team/nation with a group and someone steps forward to reveal the scheme. I’d say you need to look at what substance was detected, how easy/hard that is to obtain, and is it something that might be found in common foods? Drug and hormone use to promote growth in animals is more common in some nations than others – so perhaps if you have a nation/place where the presence of the drug is commonly found in food and groceries and restaurants that is one thing, but a hard to obtain drug in an advanced nation like… Read more »

3 years ago

Swimswam comment section very aggressive today

Reply to  MX4x50relay
3 years ago

Y’all all fed up because of rowdy’s commentary?

Reply to  MX4x50relay
3 years ago


Mrs. Swimming
3 years ago

“I have proven that I have NOT ever cheated, nor used prohibited substances intentionally or knowingly”

Let’s settle down there. You proved there’s a DECENT chance this was an accident, which kept WADA/CAS from throwing the full four years at you. That’s a far cry from confirmation that you never cheated.

Jim Swim
Reply to  Mrs. Swimming
3 years ago

This. Her post is straight up misinformation. No way CAS said that beyond any shred of a doubt this couldn’t have been intentional and left it at two years. They reduced Madisyn Cox to 6 months after she proved that, and way back Canadian Alec Page was given 1 month suspension when he clearly conveyed it was unintentional. She’s still shady in my books.

Reply to  Jim Swim
3 years ago

Where is the transparency here? No written findings by CAS arbitrator? What supplements was she taking? Were the supplements recommended by a coach and/or team “nutritionist” and were other swimmers on SPW and Team AUS using the same supplements? Why did the positive test come after her switching of teams to Coach Boxall and SPW team?

Reply to  Sydney
3 years ago

Fair points until the bit about switching teams – if she’d switched to Salo and tested positive I’d get it, but it’s not like Dean has had a long history with athletes testing positive.

Reply to  Swimmer
3 years ago

I’m not sure who Salo is, but here in Australia Coach Boxall is known to brag about drinking five cups of coffee before sunrise and practices (see article at link) and his swimmers often talk about heavy use of coffee/caffeine before their practices and races. Since Boxall is said to take a “lead by example” approach, it could be that his swimmers are using caffeinated supplements which could have been adulterated with ligandrol.

Reply to  Jim Swim
3 years ago

Agree, her post is a definitive argument why some sportspeople should NOT be allowed near social media, or media in general, in such circumstances as all they do is shoot themselves squarely in both feet. In no way is she vindicated, but rather put forward sufficient case to allow mitigating circumstances.

No, Shayna, you are NOT the victim of unfair rules and/or nefarious individuals seeking to do you wrong but rather that of your own carelessness. Maybe you were slightly unlucky in that other individuals (including previous AUS) have dodged this very same bullet (or received lesser penalties) for similar transgressions but you HAVE received education regarding the care required with what you take ….. clearly you “tuned out”.

Aussie Aussie Aussie
Reply to  commonwombat
3 years ago

What’s worse is that she actually hired a media consultant to help her work through this. Ian Hanson, who Swimming World Magazine is allowing to do all of the “reporting” on her without acknowledging on that ‘news’ that she is paying him (though they did once back in 2019, they haven’t on subsequent articles).

It’s gross. Results in a bunch of wordvomit that is trying to desperately paint her as the victim and celebrating the reduction, after years of vilifying swimmers from Russia, China, and other such “axis of evil” nations who declare the same about their swimmers.

Don’t be fooled by the narrative – she’s no better than the Cesar Cielos and… Read more »

Reply to  Aussie Aussie Aussie
3 years ago

We may not like it but it IS very smart. Most people aren’t discerning enough to see through it nor are they likely to even read the CAS report.

As an Aussie I have really mixed feelings about the outcome and if she was unable to prove her innocence I’m glad she’s out of Tokyo because of all the controversy it’d cause.

Reply to  commonwombat
3 years ago

Cannot agree more, any sportsperson who has drug testing in their sport, should always be aware of what they are putting in their bodies.

Thomas Selig
Reply to  Jim Swim
3 years ago

Agreed. Her statement is incredibly misleading/downright false in parts.

“I did not intentionally, knowingly or recklessly use Ligandrol in any manner” -> Actually, the only word used (twice) in the CAS judgement that I can see is “intentional” (“did not intentionally ingest ligandrol”, “the anti-doping rule violation was not intentional”). I guess you could infer “knowingly” from “intentionally”, the two are close enough in meaning. But there’s not mention of the any lack of “recklessness”, and it seems to me that CAS’s decision to only reduce to two years suggests they weren’t fully satisfied that Jack hadn’t been at best careless with her use of supplements or whatever.

“Innocent”, “in emphatic terms” -> I mean, no, not really. They’ve kept a two-year ban, which… Read more »

3 years ago

Atleast she can’t compete in Tokyo

Reply to  Pvdh
3 years ago

Missing the Olympics is a big punishment….

3 years ago


Reply to  Khachaturian
3 years ago

Bruh 2

Konstantin gregorishin
3 years ago

Unfortunately her swimming carreer will be tainted forever because of this incident…

3 years ago

Glad they did this. It really sucks to see a young fast rising swimmers career just get swatted out of the way. Whether they cheat or not, imagine yourself doing anything you love to do, and then have no drive or end result or goal for years. Very difficult

Reply to  MX4x50relay
3 years ago

“Whether they cheat or not…” ummmm…. if they cheat they deserve all comeuppance’s

Reply to  MX4x50relay
3 years ago

Phrases that wrong. I think she’s innocent and it’s good that her dreams are crushed for two less yeara

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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