The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority has given 20-year-old Australian swimmer Shayna Jack the maximum penalty for failing a drug test for the banned muscle-building drug Ligandrol.
Jack has been formally notified that she will be suspended from the sport for four years, which is the standard ban for testing positive for anabolic agents.
The swimmer, who was forced to withdraw from the World Swimming Championships in South Korea after failing her drug test, maintains her innocence.
According to the Daily Telegraph, the onus now rests on Jack and her legal team to prove that the drug got into her system without her knowledge. Her lawyers reportedly plan to argue that the positive samples Jack provided were caused by contamination – namely, a contaminated supplement.
It would not be the first time an athlete has tested positive for a banned substance due to a supplement contamination. Just last month a UFC fighter in the United States won a $27 million lawsuit against Gold Star Performance Products over a tainted supplement that meant he failed a drug test and was suspended from his sport for six months.
Former ASADA chief Richard Ings explained that the four-year ban is standard process for positive drug tests.
You’ve got positive A and positive B sample and the process is you get a letter, you will be suspended, then you have right to request a tribunal hearing with the Court Arbitration for Sport.
The issuing of notification of a four-year ban is standard practice in all these matters.
If Jack manages to prove she tested positive due to a contaminated supplement, it’s likely that she’ll still receive a reduced suspension thanks to zero tolerance policies. To completely clear her name, she’d have to prove she was the victim of sabotage, and identify the culprit.
Jack has protested her innocence in a public Google document, saying she “wouldn’t wish this experience on my worst enemy“.