Travic Tygart, Chief Executive Officer of the American Anti-Doping Agency, recently commented on the doping case of 22-year-old Australian sprinter Shayna Jack.
As a refresher, 22-year old Jack was given an initial 4-year doping ban by the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) after testing positive for the banned substance Ligandrol in 2019. The positive test was revealed after Jack left Australia’s World Championships preparation camp for “personal reasons,” later revealed to be the result of the positive doping test.
Her 4-year ban was reduced to 2 after she appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). The ban was 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.
Of the Aussie’s situation, Tygart says that Jack tried to comply with the anti-doping rules at all times and conveys regarding the freestyle ace, “To call that person the same drug cheat as someone who is part of the state-sponsored system in Russia is just simply not fair. It’s not right.
“We’ve had dozens of cases where athletes are dealing with low-level positives caused by meat contamination or intimacy with a partner, multivitamin, mineral or supplement contamination,” says Tygart.
“The only question is going to be how many innocent athletes are railroaded before the rules finally change?”
“The rules then demand that an athlete who has a positive is automatically assumed to be an intentional cheater that deserves a four-year sanction,” says Tygart to ABC News.
“What struck me about the Jack case no performance benefit, no intent. Not even reckless, did everything she could to abide by the rules but yet she’s branded a drug cheat and given a two-year suspension and lucky not to get a four-year.”
After having battled for her innocence, Jack has accumulated more than $130,000 in fees, with another fight yet to come. Sport Integrity Australia and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) appealed the decision to lower Jack’s ban to 2 years, meaning she’ll soon be back in the courtroom.
Last month she launched a GoFundMe campaign to assist with the fees. At the time of publishing, it has raised over $38,000.