'Overwhelmed with joy': Jack cleared to compete again

1 month ago 13
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Aussie swimmer Shayna Jack has been cleared to return to the pool and compete again after the Court of Arbitration for Sport dismissed an appeal challenging her reduced ban.

"After a two year and three month battle, I have finally received my final decision that my appeal case has been dismissed by the Court of Arbitration," Jack wrote in a post on Instagram.

"I am now free to do what I love with no restrictions and am so overwhelmed with joy.

"I am now going to take some time to myself to cherish this moment and reflect on what I have endured. The nightmare is finally over.

"Thank you to everyone who has stood by me, supported me and help me overcome this challenge.

"I will speak more in the future, now is not the time… but watch this space, it's only the beginning."

Jack was suspended for four years after testing positive to the prohibited substance ligandrol - "an anabolic agent" - in July 2019 before the FINA World Championships in South Korea.

Shayna Jack faces media for the first time

The ban was reduced to two years last year by the CAS however Sport Integrity Australia (formerly known as ASADA) and the World Anti-Doping Authority (WADA) appealed that decision in December.

"The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has dismissed the appeals filed by Sports Integrity Australia (SIA) (formerly, the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority ASADA) and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) against the first instance decision issued by the CAS Oceania Registry on 16 November 2020 (the Appealed Decision) in which the Australian swimmer, Shayna Jack, was found to have violated Article 2.1 of the Swimming Australia Ltd Anti-Doping Policy 2015 and was suspended for a period of two years, commencing on 12 July 2019," CAS' ruling said.

"The appeals were referred to a Panel of CAS arbitrators composed of Prof. Jan Paulsson (Bahrain), President, The Hon. Michael Beloff QC (UK) and Prof. Richard H. McLaren OC (Canada)," a CAS . The Panel held a hearing on 28 and 29 June 2021 by video-conference.

"The majority of the Panel determined that while it disagreed with the reasoning set out in the Appealed Decision it nevertheless upheld its ultimate holding, for different grounds: the finding of an ADRV and the sanction of a two-year period of ineligibility, on the basis that Shayna Jack had, on the balance of probabilities, established that she did not intentionally or recklessly consume the prohibited substance and could therefore benefit from a reduction in the period of ineligibility from four years to two years."

Shayna Jack. (AAP)

Jack has forked out hundreds of thousands of dollars on legal fees, battled through mental health struggles, and cyber bullying as she fought to clear her name.

Now that the CAS dismissed the appeal against her reduced ban, and two years already served after July this year, the 22-year-old is free to resume her swimming career, with the 2022 World Championships and Commonwealth Games in her sights.

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