Australian swimmer Shayna Jack has published a two-page statement in her defence, after it was revealed she had tested positive to a banned substance.
Jack was forced to withdraw from the World Swimming Championships in South Korea after she tested positive to Ligandrol, also known as LGD-4033. According to a 2018 ASADA (Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority) blog post, Ligandrol “induces muscle growth without the side effects associated with steroid use.”
“Athletes are warned that not only is LGD-4033 prohibited in sport but it is not yet cleared through clinical trials,” the post read.
In a Google Docs post titled “Shayna Jack Truth”, the 100-metre swimmer said she felt her heart shatter instantaneously when ASADA told her she had tested positive to Ligandrol, which she said “can be found in contaminated supplements.”
“I was in complete shock, asking myself how and why is this happening to me. My brain repeated over and over: ‘I have always checked my substances’, ‘I didn’t do this’, ‘Why is this happening to me?’, ‘I’ve done nothing wrong’.”
Jack said she was placed on “immediate provisional suspension” until a ‘B Sample’ was tested.
She said she cried for many hours and felt helpless. The athlete wanted to confide in her teammates but chose to fly home without telling any of them.
“I respect my teammates and my sport too much to take away their moment, so I returned home and said nothing.”
Jack said she did not “intentionally take this substance.”
“I didn’t even know it was in my system. It just didn’t make any sense, and still doesn’t to this day.”
Jack revealed that she “wailed” when her ‘B Sample’ also returned positive for Ligandrol. She has since been working with her lawyer, management team, doctor, and family to prove her innocence and try to figure out how the banned substance came into contact with her.
“I wouldn’t wish this experience on my worst enemy,” she added.
“Deep down, I feel I shouldn’t have to defend my reputation as I know that I didn’t do this. I have never missed a random drug test, and I always have my whereabouts up to date,” she wrote.
“I get tested approximately every four to six weeks, so why would I take anything banned and do this to myself? Especially leading up to competition where I could be tested daily.
“Why would I put myself through this anguish and risk jeopardising my career and my character?” Jack concluded. “I did not and would not cheat and will continue to fight to clear my name.”
You can read Jack’s full post HERE.
On Sunday morning, Swimming Australia CEO Leigh Russell addressed the media and described the situation as “bitterly disappointing and embarrassing.”