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.
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.