Top coach Dean Boxall remains frustrated as Shayna Jack fights to clear her name

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Australia’s No 1 swim coach Dean Boxall remains frustrated with a system he knows could cost his star sprint freestyler Shayna Jack her Olympic dream.

But he is not giving up on his charge – and remains in her corner as she faces the toughest fight of her life to clear her name and return to the pool.

A lingering fight after a positive doping infraction that forced her to withdraw from the Australian team before this year’s Fina World Championships in July.

The 21-year-old from Brisbane tested positive to the banned substance Ligandrol a SARM (Selective Androgen Receptor Modulator) that produces anabolic effects such as muscle mass and strength without the usual side effects of steroids.

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MEETING THE PRESS: Shayna Jack makes a statement and answers questions from the media – Photo courtesy: Hanson Media

It caused a huge media storm, as these stories do in Australia and Boxall, as Jack’s coach arrived home from the Gwangju World Championships not to a glorious homecoming and celebration of his efforts with Australia’s lone individual world champion Ariarne Titmus (400m freestyle) and his two champion men relay gold medallists Mitch Larkin (4x100m Mixed Medley) Clyde Lewis (4x200m freestyle) but to questions on a positive doping violation.

Boxall has again proclaimed Jack to be innocent of any wrong-doing as she continues to fight a positive test that carries a mandatory four-year-ban and threatens to cut short a career that was very much on track towards Tokyo Olympic gold in 2020.

Boxall described his stellar 2019, as akin to “opening present after present” with such amazing surprise results that culminated at the World Championships – setting up an ideal Tokyo preparation.

“And then boom….the bomb goes off when you least expect it,” Boxall continues to proclaim.

“Shayna is innocent, I know she’s innocent, I believe in her and I know she will prove she is innocent. I have absolute faith in her.”

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READY to return: Shayna Jack. Photo Courtesy: FINIS

You feel his voice quivering and you feel his passion when he talks about Jack’s plight and the fight to clear her name.

“And why is this taking so long ?” he asks.

“I keep asking myself when is this going to be over.. I just want it over for her sake…Shayna deserves to fulfill her dreams….

“I really don’t know what’s going on…that’s the toughest thing.”

Jack said in a recent Instagram Post there were times when she could not stop crying but had taken time to ensure her mental health was properly supported and managed.

Jack had revealed the struggle with the uncertainty hanging over her future after claiming she had still not received a letter from Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority outlining the case against her.

Saying it may be another 10 weeks before she receives the letter and up to nine months until a hearing.

The Olympic Swimming Trials are in Adelaide in seven months, ensuring Jack will be racing the clock to prove her innocence and realise her 2020 Games dream.

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FRUSTRATED: Australia’s No 1 coach Dean Boxall – Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr (Swimming Australia)

“My team are doing everything they can to fast track this process but it’s so hard when we aren’t in control of how and when things happen,” wrote Jack, on a recent Instagram post.

She knows that any evidence she can uncover could well change the course of the outcome and she has to prove how the banned substance entered her system and to show maybe just how minute the Ligandrol was.

That could well be a telling factor in her defence to beat the ban in time for her to swim in June next year for a spot on the Olympic swim team.

“I have found that I am struggling most with accepting the current situation, how much it has not only impacted my swimming career but my everyday life,” Jack posted on Instagram.

“Additionally, how long the process will be before I get any final information?”

But she made a promise to herself that she would never stop fighting for her dream as an Australian Dolphin.

“Or my character, as I know I have, nor (would) I ever take a drug of any kind intentionally,” said Jack.

But as frustrated as she and Boxall are she is not sitting around moping and feeling sorry for herself.

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FUN in the sun and surf for Shayna Jack. Photo Courtesy: Shayna Jack Instagram

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LIFE’s a beach for Shayna Jack. Photo Courtesy: Shayna Jack Instagram

Jack spent last weekend inspiring Queensland Junior Lifesavers on Bribie Island and going back to where it began for her and so many aspiring Olympians – Nippers at the beach.

It was certainly good to see her having some fun in the sun and the surf, getting her mind off the task at hand of clearing her name.

Doing so with support from the likes of Queensland Ironwoman star Brielle Cooper, the kids at Bribie Surf Club and coach Boxall, a man who wears his heart very much on his sleeve, but who believes in his swimmer and believes she is innocent and who will continue to support her fight to clear her name.

Hopefully a comeback that dreams are made of.

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