Jack learns doping appeal verdict
Initially suspended for four years after testing positive to the anabolic agent Ligandrol, Jack succeeded in getting a two year reduction after a long, drawn out appeal to the CAS.
The reduced ban still ends her hopes of competing at next year's postponed Tokyo Olympics but leaves open the possibility she can make a full return after the arbitrator agreed with her version of events that she did not knowingly break the rules.
"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," CAS said in its ruling.
"As a consequence, the Sole Arbitrator imposed a reduced period of ineligibility of two years, commencing on the date of her provisional suspension."
Jack said the verdict vindicated her stance she never cheated and she would accept the decision.
"The Court of Arbitration for Sport has tonight handed down a decision in my case after a long awaited 17 months," Jack said.
"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."
With the ban backdated to July 2019 to include time already served, the 22-year-old Queenslander isn't allowed to compete again until July 2021 - the same time as the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics but a month too late for the trials to select the Australian team.
The earliest she could represent Australia again - if she qualifies for the Dolphins - are the world championships, in Fukuoka, Japan in May 2022, and the Commonwealth Games, in Birmingham, England, two months later.
One of the country's best up and coming female sprinters, Jack was part of the Australian 4x100m freestyle relay that broke the world record to win gold at the 2018 Commonwealth Games but her world came crashing down when she tested positive to Ligandrol at a training camp for the 2019 world championships and was sent home.
She has always maintained she is not a drug cheat and the only way the banned muscle-building substance could have got into her system was by contamination but she was unable to identify the source.
Under strict anti-doping zero-tolerance regulations, athletes are considered responsible for whatever is in their system so the burden is on them to not only prove where it came but also prove that they didn't take it knowingly - and even they almost always receive a hefty ban.
Stripped of all her funding and prevented from training she has described the past year as a nightmare but said she was looking ahead to the future.
It was a big episode of SAS for Shayna Jack, who revealed in an explosive interrogation scene the impact of the drug scandal and exactly what happened after the huge tackle from Honeybadger.— The Daily Telegraph (@dailytelegraph) November 3, 2020
📍 DETAILS: https://t.co/QQ0ZCvblt3 pic.twitter.com/de0p6QAeYj
"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.," she said.
"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."
Originally published as Jack learns doping appeal verdict