Swim star Shayna Jack’s fate imminent after secret doping appeal

Banned swim star Shayna Jack is set to learn her fate over the doping scandal that forced her out of the sport for the past 14 months, thanks to a secret appeal.

Shayna Jack’s fate will be revealed within days after the Australian swimmer’s drawn out appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) was heard in secret seven weeks ago.

While the details of the hearing remain confidential, The News can reveal that Jack appeared via video link from Brisbane before a sole arbitrator in late September – more than 14 months after she was first notified that she had tested positive to the banned anabolic agent Ligandrol and sent home from a Japanese training camp just before the world championships.

Suspended for four years by the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA), Jack lodged an appeal with the CAS, maintaining she is innocent and has no idea how the banned substances got into her body.

Witnesses at her two-day hearing included her coach Dean Boxall, who has stood by the rising freestyle sprinter, as well as leading swimmers who provided character references.

Jack’s family were also in attendance, but only in a supporting role to their daughter, so were not called on to testify.

Jack is understood to have spoken at length on both days to finally give her side of the story after she did not speak at the initial hearing with ASADA, now Sport Integrity Australia.

The hefty ban she has already received has no bearing on her appeal because CAS cases are regarded as fresh hearings but the verdict is now imminent.

The News has previously revealed that the level of traces found in her sample were minutely small, substantiating her claims that she did not deliberately break the rules and the only way the banned substance could have got into her system was by contamination.

Jack is hoping for a return to the pool. Picture: Getty Images
Jack is hoping for a return to the pool. Picture: Getty Images

But in order to be cleared, or receive a reduced sentence that will be backdated to include time already served and allow her to compete at next year’s rescheduled Tokyo Olympics, the now 22-year-old needs to convince the CAS that she did not knowingly take the substance.

Even then, she may still face a suspension because of anti-doping’s strict policies which state that athletes are ultimately responsible for the substances in their body regardless of whether they ingested them intentionally or not.

Some athletes have succeeded in getting heavy reductions after testing positive for Ligandrol, a muscle-building substance often contained in supplements but not always listed on the ingredients.

Japanese swimmer Junya Koga had his four-year ban halved but CAS is not obliged to follow any precedents.

The News understands that Jack – who has appeared on SAS Australia and signed several new endorsements including a deal that got her a brand new Jeep – has recently resumed training but only in private because she is banned from working with any registered coaches.

Australian athlete Shayna Jack is determined to clear her name after her swimming career was derailed by a four-year ban for doping.

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