As the ongoing doping case against 20-year-old Australian freestyle ace Shayna Jack begins to unfold, more and more members of the swimming community are speaking up about the situation. We’ve heard from Swimming Australia CEO Leigh Russell, Jack’s St. Peters Western Coach Dean Boxall, Swimming Australia CEO Jacco Verhaeren and more.
Both the Australian Swimmers’ Association (ASA), as well as the Dolphins Athlete Leaders have released statements concerning their teammate Jack’s positive doping test.
For background, the ASA serves as the representative body for competitive swimmers in Australia and is a voting Stakeholder of Swimming Australia. Its governing officer is Rio Olympic swimmer Matthew Abood, with Jess Ashwood, Bronte Barratt, Bronte Campbell and Jake Packard serving as general members.
As for the Dolphins Athlete Leaders, the group consists of Mitch Larkin, Jess Hansen, Alex Graham, Cate Campbell, and sister Bronte. The leaders were confirmed as of March of this year. Part of the Dolphins Athlete Leaders role is to epresent the wider Australian Dolphins’ team in discussing challenges and opportunities while maintaining a strong connection and open communication with Swimming Australia’s organizational leaders.
Below are the two group’s separate statements:
The Australian Swimmers’ Association was shocked to hear of Shayna Jack’s positive test to a banned substance, and our primary concern is her wellbeing through a life altering experience. As ASADA made clear over the last couple of days, there are privacy and confidentiality policies in place to protect the athlete and the integrity of the investigation that prevent any details being released unless by ASADA or Shayna. The ASA acknowledges and respects Swimming Australia for adhering to these policies and Shayna’s wishes to speak when ready. The ASA remains committed to a clean and drug-free sport and following the procedures put in place by ASADA to govern this.
The ASA congratulates the team on their outstanding performances at the Gwangju 2019 World Championships. The headlines from this week don’t detract from the courage, determination and character that was on display in Korea. The ASA wishes all the elite swimmers of this nation the very best in making the next 359 days count in reaching their goals at the Tokyo Olympics.
Dolphins Athlete Leaders Statement:
The Athlete leadership group consisting of Mitch Larkin, Jess Hansen, Alex Graham and Cate and Bronte Campbell said: “We support Swimming Australia and our CEO Leigh Russell in following the confidentiality policy set out in legislation through ASADA and do not agree with any suggestion that Swimming Australia has attempted in any way to cover this up.
“We are proud of the fact we have one of the strongest anti-doping programs in the world and ASADA has clearly stated the rules on disclosure and the rule prohibiting Swimming Australia from releasing details are there for a reason – without them our system can be compromised.
“Swimming Australia kept our team informed when they were allowed – under the legislation – to do so. We also strongly believe in an athlete’s right to privacy and fair process under the ASADA code while a full investigation takes place and due to a leak of this information in the early stages of this process these rights have been infringed.”
“We stand very strongly in our commitment to clean and drug-free sport and this won’t change, but we also are strongly committed to following the procedures set out in legislation.
“Finally, we would also like to thank the Australian public for the support we have received following our performances in Gwangju – we very much appreciate it. We were extremely proud of how the team performed and are looking forward to the next 12 months as we build towards Tokyo 2020.”
Both the ASA and Athlete Leaders will not be commenting further on the situation, as they wish to respect the privacy of Shayna.