Swimming Australia says failed drug test "disappointing"

MELBOURNE, Australia — The chief executive of Australian Swimming says swimmer Shayna Jack's failed drug test is bitterly disappointing and embarrassing for the national swimming team, the sport and the country.

Jack was forced to withdraw from the world championships in South Korea after testing positive for a banned substance she said she didn't knowingly consume.

According to Swimming Australia Jack was notified of the result following an out-of-competition drug test on June 26 which led to her being suspended from the Australian team and sent home from its pre-worlds training camp in Japan.

Swimming Australia chief executive Leigh Russell said Sunday the national body's agreement with the Australian Sports Doping Agency prevented it revealing news of Jack's test at the time she was notified.

Russell told reporters in Melbourne she understood Jack was planning to reveal the positive test on her A sample later this week once the national team had finished competing.

"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," Russell said.

Swimming Australia has been criticized for failing to respond to reporters questions at the world championships when Jack's failed test became public on Saturday.

"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," Russell said. "That was my call.

"In retrospect we could have done that differently but I do want to acknowledge Cate and her leadership and our team."

The substance Jack tested positive for has not been revealed and may not be for several months if the swimmer chooses not to announce it. Athletes are allowed confidentiality until an investigation is completed.

"We're told by ASADA that it can take some months," Russell said. "So we're not expecting a very quick resolution to this process.

"I also want to make it clear that Shayna is entitled to a natural justice and a fair process and that process is continuing."

Jack's failed test comes in the week that Australian swimmer Mack Horton refused to share the podium with China star Sun Yang because of his concern about doping allegations surrounding Yang. Horton's stand has been described as hypocritical.

"I think that Mack has made a stand for something that he truly believes in," Russell said. "I think we actually have the same stance.

"We absolutely do not want drugs in our sport. I think that Mack made a stance that he absolutely is comfortable with and would be comfortable with that today."

Russell said Jack was being supported by family and would be supported by Swimming Australia while the investigation continued.

Jack has denied knowingly taking a banned substance, writing on Instagram "swimming has been my passion since I was 10 years old and I would never intentionally take a banned substance that would disrespect my sport and jeopardize my career."

Jack said she and her team are doing everything they can to find out when and how the substance "has come into contact with my body."

The 20-year-old swimmer initially cited personal reasons for her sudden withdrawal from worlds and Swimming Australia had declined to elaborate.


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