Shayna Jack Reveals She Tested Positive For Lingadrol In Lengthy Post To Social Media: Vows To Fight On

Shayna Jack FINIS
Shayna Jack; Photo Courtesy: FINIS

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Shayna Jack has revealed she tested positive for Lingadrol in both her A and B samples in a lengthy social media post as the Australian continues to deny knowingly having ingested the banned substance

In a post titled ‘The Day My Life Turned Upside Down’ which she published on her Instagram account, Jack reveals she was informed of her failed test on 12 July after which she was provisionally suspended and left the Australian training camp ahead of the World Championships with her team-mates later informed of her departure but given no reason for her exit.

The freestyle specialist claims she had never heard of Ligandrol – which is used to treat muscle wastage and osteoporosis – and says “I now know that this can be found in contaminated supplements”.

On 19 July her B sample was returned and confirmed the presence of Ligandrol with Jack insisting she has no idea how it came to be her system, saying: “Now I feel like that can all be taken away because of some sort of
contamination; no athlete is safe from the risks of contamination”.

She ended the account by saying: “I did not and would not cheat and will continue to fight to clear my name”.

Shayna Jack Statement

The day my life turned upside down

“On the 12th of July, I was called to the Swimming Australia head coach’s room; I had just been out shopping with my teammate. Unaware of what I was walking into, I was happy and bubbly as always. That all changed when I walked through the door to be told ASADA had called. My brain instantly went into frantic thoughts, something was wrong, I had never missed a test, it wasn’t my time slot, so why would they want me? I sat down, waiting for ASADA to answer my call and then a woman’s voice said those haunting words for any athlete: “we have tested your sample and it has come back positive to a prohibited substance”. I felt my heart break instantaneously. I couldn’t breathe to answer her next couple of questions. There was nothing I could do at that moment, nothing the people around me could do to help me. 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”. I could still hear the woman in the background on the phone, talking more about what will go on and that I have to leave the camp and return home, as I was placed on immediate provisional suspension until the ‘B sample’ is tested. She also went on to explain what was found in my system, I had never heard of it before, let alone know how to pronounce it; she said it was “Ligandrol”. I now know that this can be found in contaminated supplements.

“After many hours of crying and feeling so helpless, I managed to pack my bags and went for an 8km walk with my coach, Dean Boxall, while the team was informed of my departure, without any indication of what for. I wanted to open up to them and discuss with them what had happened. I felt so vulnerable. But I knew that they had to focus on themselves and continue to represent Australia without me on the team.

“I respect my teammates and my sport too much to take away their moment, so I returned home and said nothing. Upon returning home, I felt more heartache than I have ever felt in my 20 years of living. Seeing my parents, brothers, boyfriend and grandma made me break down into a million pieces as this was so hard for me to cope with. I didn’t 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.

“On Friday the 19th of July my ‘B sample’ results were in. I had felt a sense of hope knowing I didn’t take this substance and that it was all a mistake during the testing and that I could return to compete for my country and with the team, however, that wasn’t the case. As I read the results, my brain couldn’t even comprehend what I was seeing. I had to reread it several times before I felt that same pain and heartache all over again. I instantly turned to my grandma, who was with me at the time and wailed. With my legs no longer holding me up, I fell to the ground.

“I haven’t slept much since, and I feel a sense of emptiness. I think of what I have worked so hard for all being taken away from me, and I had done nothing wrong. Ever since I was 10 years old, I have wanted to be on the Australian swim team, to represent my country. I never swam for the medals; they were always an added bonus. I swam for the feeling you get when you stand behind the blocks in a gold cap. The feeling you get when you race in a relay with a group of amazing women and feel a sense of purpose and success. I pride myself on being the woman that young girls look up to and want to be like, not for the medals I win, but for the way I present myself day in, day out around the pool and in everyday life. Now I feel like that can all be taken away because of some sort of contamination; no athlete is safe from the risks of contamination.

“Reminding myself of why I swim and why I want to be in the Australian team is what has kept me fighting. The day I found out was the day I began my fight to prove my innocence. Myself, along with my lawyer, management team, doctor and family have been working continuously to not only prove my innocence but to try to find out how this substance has come into contact with me, to ensure it doesn’t happen to anyone else, as I wouldn’t wish this experience on my worst enemy. Every day I wake up and have a rollercoaster of a day. Some days I am okay and others I am not. This will be an ongoing challenge, not only with trying to prove my innocence to ensure I can get back to training for the dream I have had since I was a little girl, but also the challenge of facing judgement from people who don’t know me; people who will just assume the worst.

“I watched and supported every member of the Australian swim team during the World Championships. I was inconsolable as I watched my teammate, Ariane Titmus, win the 400 freestyle, and my teammates do an outstanding job in the 4×100 and 4×200 freestyle relays, as they were both relays I had hoped to be a part of during my time at Worlds. I trained hard to be over there racing and to support the team, but I understood the rules of ASADA, and I have followed all their processes. 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. In Australia, in a sport like swimming, I feel there is no possible way for an athlete to intentionally take a banned substance and not get caught. 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? I did not and would not cheat and will continue to fight to clear my name.”

It follows Swimming Australia chief executive Leigh Russell’s admission that the national federation will reconsider the guidelines concerning confidentiality agreements it shares with the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) as the fall-out from Jack’s positive drugs test continues.

News Jack had tested positive for a banned substance emerged on Saturday and left the Australia team in a difficult position given Mack Horton’s silent podium protest against Sun Yang’s presence as well as their vocal criticism of anyone who violates the WADA code.

Russell claimed that under the guidelines only ASADA or Jack could publicly address the positive test because of confidentiality agreements that are in place.

That has led to accusations of a lack of transparency by Swimming Australia – the issue at the crux of swimmers’ criticism of global governing body FINA.

While she said her hands were tied, Russell said they would look into how that could be addressed in future.

“I think that’s a conversation that we’d be interested in having at a later stage.

“Particularly it makes it tough for a national sporting organisation to be transparent and to ensure that you’re getting the right information.

“The ASADA agreement requires Swimming Australia to maintain confidentiality until such time that ASADA or the individual athlete release details of an adverse test result.

“I accept that this is a frustrating position, but I also accept that Shayna has a right to a fair process. She has told us that she was planning to release the adverse test result this week. She said she wanted to wait until her teammates had finished competing.”

With the swimmers only informed on Saturday, Cate Campbell was left to respond to reporters’ questions as an already messy situation escalated.

Russell admitted Swimming Australia blundered when they left Campbell, winner of two golds and one silver medal this week, to face the press.

“I do accept the criticism that we did not have an official speak poolside last night and that Cate Campbell spoke on behalf of our team,” she told reporters.

“That was my call. In retrospect we could have done that differently, but I do want to acknowledge Cate for her leadership and our team’s ongoing commitment to a clean sport.”

Russell though refuted accusations Horton had been left looking foolish.

“No, I think Mack has made a stand on something he truly believes in, and I think we actually have the same stance, we absolutely do not want drugs in our sport,” Russell said.

“We’re in a really difficult position where we’re not able to inform our team, inform anybody else of the particulars of this matter.

“So we were in no position to let our team know at any stage up until we were able to tell them yesterday.”

Despite the fall-out from this incident, Russell reaffirmed Swimming Australia’s zero-tolerance stance.

She said: “I do want to say that while an Australian athlete returning an adverse result is both bitterly disappointing and embarrassing to our team, our sport and our country, it does not in any way change the zero-tolerance view that Swimming Australia has, and our continuing fight for a clean sport.”





  1. avatar

    Ben Johnson said the same thing in the doping scandle in the 1988 Olympic.

  2. avatar

    Have you ever suspected that what you believe is twisted facts communicated by media?

    Take Sun Yang’s case for example, I have read more than 10 western media covering this event, none of them ever mentioned that two of three testers to whom Sun refused to give his blood sample are unqualified and unauthorized, which makes the sample they took illegal. This is a basic fact that FINA has confirmed during its 59 pages survey report and also why FINA allows Sun to compete in Korea.

    If Sun did have acted like Magni Bronzebeard with his hammers without any reason, is it possible that FINA still allow Sun to join competitions instead of banning him? have’t you ever suspected that?

    That’s simply because the western media deliberately ignore some key facts and try to make you believe what they want you to believe. What I can only say is, what a shame on these media!