Australian swimmer Shayna Jack makes plea ahead of doping violation appeal


Two of the world’s most powerful anti-doping bodies lodged appeals in December against the two-year ban handed down to Jack.

The 22-year-old tested positive to Ligandrol, which forced her to withdraw from Australia’s squad for the world swimming championships in 2019.

She said she did not know how the banned substance entered her body, but the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) heard expert opinions that the amount was “pharmacologically irrelevant”, or not performance enhancing.

Jack now has reached out for support as she prepares to fight the Sport Integrity Australia (SIA) and the World Ant-Doping Agency (WADA) appeal.

In the strict-liability world of anti-doping, a positive test means a four-year ban.

“During my first court case I went up against Sports Integrity Australia and my family and I spent $130,000 total,” Jack said in a video released on Thursday.

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Swimmer stalked by two sharks in New Zealand’s Bay of Plenty


This is the terrifying moment a swimmer flees for his life as two sharks snap at his heels.

The man was swimming in the water at Ōhope Beach, a popular spot in New Zealand’s Bay of Plenty, when he heard an onlooker scream that there were sharks next to him.

Another family filmed the dramatic scenes as the sharks cruised along the beach.

In the footage two fins can be seen jutting out of the water as waves crash onto the beach.

Phil Squire with his 15-year-old daughter Eliza when beachgoers started to say they had seen two sharks out in the water, behind where the man was swimming.

Mr Squire told local media outlet Stuff that he thought the sharks may have been bronze whalers.

“There were quite a few people gathering around when they realised a shark was there,” he said.

“People were shouting, ‘Shark, shark!’ Two fins appeared near the man and he got a huge fright and took off.”

The incident occurred in January but rumours of shark sightings along the coast were keeping a lot of people out of the water, despite it being a hot day, Mr Squire said.

“Information does travel up and down the beach and I guess one of the clues that there might be a problem was that there were a lot of people out of the water.

“It was a very hot day and I guess it was unexpected to have sharks that close.”

One of Mr Squire’s daughters had been surfing at the west end of Ōhope Beach during their holiday, and had passed over some stingrays, he said.

“She was a bit nervous, she was definitely staying on her board with the possibility of sharks and stingrays around … but I think it added to the excitement.

“We did a lot of surfing around those beaching but weren’t dipping our toes in, in case they got nibbled.”

Despite being a keen surfer himself, Mr Squire said he’d never encountered sharks.

He came forward with the video after reading news of recent shark sightings in Auckland.

Earlier this year, a shark attack at Waihī Beach, another popular beaching spot, took the life of a young woman.

Kaelah Marlow, 19, suffered bites to one of her legs when she was attacked while swimming in New Zealand. She was pulled alive from the sea but paramedics were unable to save her.

“I’m a surfer and you realise these areas are the sharks’ natural habitats and people visiting rightfully need to be careful,” Mr Squire said.

He urged other surfers and swimmers to be “be sensible” and exercise good water safety.

“Watch out for each other in the water,” he said.

“If you see something, let other folks know and exit the water safely.

“It is better to err on the side of caution, keep an eye out to spot anything unusual.”

This article originally appeared on The Sun and has been republished with permission

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Chinese swimmer Sun Yang’s retrial down to CAS judge’s history of hostile tweets about dog meat, Swiss court says


The Swiss Federal Supreme Court has explained why it ordered a retrial for Olympic swimming champion Sun Yang’s doping case, citing anti-China bias related to killing dogs for food by one of the judges in the case.

Hostile social media posts on Twitter by Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) Judge Franco Frattini persuaded the federal court he should not have presided over banning the Chinese swimmer.

Federal judges last month sent the case back for a second hearing at CAS, where Sun was previously banned for eight years for violating anti-doping protocols.

Judge Frattini, a former Italian foreign minister, has been barred from the retrial, which is likely to decide if Sun can compete at this year’s delayed Tokyo Olympics.

“In his tweets, the arbitrator [Frattini] castigates a Chinese practice of dog slaughter and denounces the consumption of this meat at a local festival in China,” the Swiss court said in a statement.

The Federal judges said “the doubts as to the impartiality of the arbitrator were objectively justified,” but they did not consider the merits of the evidence in the case.

Judge Frattini chaired a CAS panel of three judges at a hearing in November 2019 that unanimously upheld the World Anti-Doping Agency’s appeal for Sun to be banned.

Previously, a tribunal appointed by swimming body FINA only warned Sun about his conduct during a home visit in 2018 by sample collection officials that became hostile.

After CAS published its verdict last February, Sun’s lawyers appealed to the Swiss supreme court.

A second appeal was filed after online reports last May about Frattini’s social media posts.

These were “tweets made by the arbitrator in 2018 and 2019 in connection with the protection of animals,” the federal court said.

“In principle, an arbitrator can also defend his convictions on social networks, but with the restraint required of judges,” the federal court said.

Judge Frattini was appointed by CAS in early 2019 to chair the appeal, while lawyers for WADA and Sun each got to choose one judge. Both were based in London.

The 10-hour hearing in Montreux, Switzerland, was a rare CAS case held in open court, at the three-time Olympic champion’s request, and streamed live online.

The hearing was marred with translation problems that complicated questioning about why Sun did not comply with sample collectors whose credentials were questioned.

Evidence included Sun using his mobile phone light in the darkness to help a security guard smash the casing holding a vial of his blood.

The guard was instructed by Sun’s mother and used a hammer to break the case and ensure the blood could not be used for anti-doping tests.

The retrial at CAS faces a tight schedule to resolve the case before the Tokyo Olympics.

Sun, 29, is the world champion in the men’s 400-metre freestyle, which is among the first Olympic events scheduled to begin competition on July 24.

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Sun Yang doping ban overturned, China swimmer Court of Arbitration for Sport hearing, Franco Frattini, Mack Horton, drug cheat, WADA


Sun Yang’s eight-year doping ban has been spectacularly overturned on appeal.

In a decision that will rock swimming – in particular in Australia where the Chinese freestyle champion has become a villain – Sun has won the right to have his case reheard before next year’s Olympics.

The 29-year-old successfully challenged the neutrality of one of the members of the panel that effectively ended his professional career at a Court of Arbitration for Sport hearing in February.

The World Anti-Doping Authority (WADA), which had fought to ban Sun from swimming after he twice drew the ire of doping officials, responded to the latest decision by welcoming the opportunity to present its case against Sun again.

It noted: “The Swiss Federal Tribunal’s decision upholds a challenge against the chair of the CAS Panel and makes no comment on the substance of this case.”

Franco Frattini, the former Italian foreign minister, appears to have been the subject of Sun’s appeal.

Reports in China had highlighted his perceived unprofessional manner in what was at times a circus of a hearing.

Frattini was heard making a joke about Sun Yang’s mother when she was called to give evidence, saying “A very strong witness, ha ha”.

But he also appears to have been exposed by a number of comments on social media that included anti-Chinese sentiment.

They included Twitter posts from 2018 and 2019 where he expressed his disdain for animal cruelty in China.

“This yellow face chinese monster smiling while torturing a small dog, deserves the worst of the hell!!! Shame on China, pretending to be a superpower and tolerating these horrors!” he wrote in May last year.

While a tweet from 2018 said: “Hell forever for those bastard sadic chinese who brutally killed dogs and cats in Yulin, with the complicity of the chinese authorities.”

Sun, who won the 400m and 1500m freestyle in London and the 200m in Rio, first served a doping suspension in 2014 after testing positive to a drug he said he was using to treat heart palpitations and was unaware had recently been added to the banned list.

Australian swimmer Mack Horton spoke out against Sun at the Rio Olympics and his protest appeared to be validated when his rival was accused of refusing to provide blood and urine samples when drug testers visited his home in China in September, 2018.

In February, The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) handed down an eight-year ban for “manipulation” of an anti-doping test sample, effectively ending the Chinese star’s professional career.

Sun’s CAS hearing, the first in 20 years that was open to the public, was beset by technical difficulties and interpreting errors between Chinese and English which frustrated lawyers and held up proceedings.

Sun’s lawyers lodged an appeal last month, challenging the technical and procedural grounds of the verdict, which WADA confirmed was successful.

“The World Anti-Doping Agency has been informed of the decision of the Swiss Federal Tribunal to uphold the revision application filed by Chinese swimmer Sun Yang and to set aside the 20 February 2020 award of a Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) Panel,” it said in a statement.

“The case is in relation to WADA’s successful appeal against the original Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA) disciplinary panel decision following an incident that led to a doping control involving Sun Yang not being completed as planned.

“The Swiss Federal Tribunal’s decision upholds a challenge against the Chair of the CAS Panel and makes no comment on the substance of this case.

“WADA will take steps to present its case robustly again when the matter returns to the CAS Panel, which will be chaired by a different president.

“At this stage, WADA has not received the Tribunal’s full reasoned decision and therefore cannot comment further.”

The decision means Sun is free to resume swimming until his case is heard by a different CAS panel.

ABC reporter Bill Birltes tweeted: “Yet another twist in the years-long Sun Yang saga – his 8 year ban overturned due to claims of racism among a member of the Court of Arbitration for Sport … but he hasn’t been cleared. He’ll have to face a new panel all over again to decide his fate.”



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Sport Integrity Australia appeals swimmer Shayna Jack’s two-year ban for taking the banned drug Ligandrol



Sport Integrity Australia has appealed the two-year ban handed to Australian swimmer, Shayna Jack.

SIA’s chief executive David Sharpe said in a statement the “decision to appeal is based on the need for clarity in the application of key anti-doping legal principles”.

“Sport Integrity Australia will always act to ensure a level playing field for athletes,” Mr Sharpe said.

“In order to protect athletes and sporting competitions, we must have clarity and consistency in the application of the World Anti-Doping Code.”

Last month, the Court of Arbitration for Sport banned Jack for two years for taking the banned drug Ligandrol.

In a statement, the CAS said on the balance of probabilities, “Shayna Jack did not intentionally ingest Ligandrol and considered that she had discharged her onus of proving that the anti-doping rule violation was not intentional”.

The SIA appeal means that Jack’s initial four-year ban could be reinstated.

As it stands, she is free to resume swimming next July, but that will be too late to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics.

Other organisations including Swimming Australia, the World Anti-Doping Authority (WADA) and swimming’s world governing body, FINA, could also still appeal the CAS decision.

The ABC contacted Swimming Australia, but they had no comment on the decision to appeal.



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Paralympian, doctor and deacon: The extraordinary story of Gemma Dashwood — a champion swimmer mixing medicine and faith


Gemma Dashwood always wanted to be a doctor.

Even as a child, she was no stranger to hospitals.

Shortly after her birth in Canberra, she got an infection in her hip.

It was septic arthritis which destroyed the bone and the joint.

“So I’ve never really known anything else than to have a limp and to have chronic pain and to have multiple operations,” she said.

Gemma Dashwood had her final hip replacement in 2004.(Supplied)

“Many years on crutches and walking sticks and learning how to walk.”

When walking was difficult, she could swim.

Really swim.

Gemma Dashwood as a child swimming in a pool.
Gemma Dashwood started swimming as a form of therapy and went on represent Australia.(Supplied: The Federal Capital Press of Australia)

Dr Dashwood went on to win gold, silver and bronze medals at two Paralympic Games — in Atlanta in 1996 and Sydney in 2000.

“It was a lot of hard work. 4:00am starts, six days a week. It was tough,” she said.

“But you know, I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.”

Gemma Dashwood with her parents
Gemma Dashwood with her parents Brian and Dorothy at the 2000 Sydney Paralympics.(Supplied)

And still, medicine beckoned.

A degree in speech pathology was her way in.

Masters in medical ethics and health law followed.

She’s now an intensive care registrar, working in the Ipswich and Wesley hospitals, in a year when the coronavirus pandemic emerged.

“We had no idea what this COVID was all about.

“We had no idea how it was going to play out. We really had to learn as we went.

“Not only could we get sick, but we could make our families sick as well and that was a really confronting thought,” Dr Dashwood said.

Gemma Dashwood stand in the ICU ward.
Gemma Dashwood is now an intensive care registrar, working in the Ipswich and Wesley hospitals.(ABC News: Jessica van Vonderen)

The calling

It was during the pandemic, that her other big passion came to the fore — her faith.

“It wasn’t until a few years ago though in Queensland when I started to get the calling that there might be something more there for me.”

Gemma Dashwood plays the organ in a church.
Gemma Dashwood has completed a degree in Theology and was ordained a Deacon on Saturday.(ABC News: Jessica van Vonderen)

She got a degree in Theology and this weekend she was ordained a Deacon (a priest in training).

Reverend Dashwood believes faith and medicine complement each other.

“Doctors actually don’t know it all,” she said laughing.

“There’s a lot we can’t explain or we don’t know the answers to and particularly in intensive care and particularly if you’re dealing with end-of-life matters.

Gemma Dashwood wearing religious robes and her mother Dorothy smiling
Ms Dashwood’s mum Dorothy (L) reunited with her daughter at her ordination after not seeing each other since Christmas last year(ABC News: Jessica Van Vonderen)

“That’s where medicine and theology overlap.

“You can sit in a space and say to someone, ‘there is no science to help you anymore’, but I can sit here and talk to you.

“I can sit here and share your fears.”

At the Wesley hospital, Dr Dashwood broadcast prayers into the patients’ rooms during the coronavirus lockdowns.

“To reassure people that there were still prayers going on, there was still a routine, there was still a connection with human thought and love.”

Professor Bala Venkatesh stands in a hospital room.
Bala Venkatesh Professor of Intensive Care Unit at Wesley hospital said Dr Dashwood’s dual role was “unique”.(ABC News: Jessica van Vonderen)

Her boss at the Wesley, Professor Bala Venkatesh, said Dr Dashwood’s dual role was “unique”.

“I think they are very important qualifications for both a doctor and a priest,” Professor Venkatesh said.

Reverend Dashwood will juggle her combined callings again on December 25 when she assists the Goodna parish with the Christmas Day services before heading to the Ipswich emergency department for the night shift.



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Aussie swimmer hailed as the most credible witness in 40 years


Shayna Jack was the most impressive witness arbitrator Alan Sullivan QC had ever seen in giving the evidence that led to her four-year ban for taking a banned substance being halved.

Jack will return to competitive swimming in 2021 after winning her appeal to the Court of Arbitration for sport against a four-year suspension for a positive test to Ligandrol before last year’s world championships.

CAS last week reduced her ban to two years, finding Jack, who protested her innocence, didn’t knowingly ingest the substance.

It’s its full decision, published on Tuesday, overnight, the 22-year-old was highly commended for her honesty by CAS.

Jack still does not know how the banned substance entered her system, and the finding reported that her credibility as an honest witness “ remained completely intact” even when she was “thoroughly but properly tested in cross-examination”.

“Indeed, she was one of the most impressive witness the sole arbitrator (Sullivan) has seen in his more than 40 years of practice,” the findings stated.

“She appeared to be completely straightforward, genuine and honest in the answers she gave. Her demeanour was excellent and her dismay and upset at the situation she found herself was evident.

“She became emotional at times in giving her evidence but not inappropriately or theatrically so.

“The Sole Arbitrator could not detect any signs of acting or disingenuousness. On the contrary, as stated, the applicant (Jack) presented as an honest, decent, reliable and very plausible witness.”

Jack was also supported by character witness statements from Olympic gold medallist Cate Campbell and her sister Bronte.

In her statement, Cate Campbell said Jack would never “knowingly take a prohibited substance”.

“She has handled the highs and lows that sport offers with class and dignity and has always conducted herself with the utmost integrity,” Campbell’s statement read.

The findings revealed Jack put forward three possible ways the banned substance could have entered her system, including a contaminated blender she shared with her partner or brothers.

Another possibility was she came into contact with the Ligandrol or ingested it as a result of using pool and/or a gym open to the public in Townsville or Cairns while training in May and June last year for trials for the world championships.

But the consensus was no one would ever know how the “pharmacologically irrelevant dose” of the substance got in her system.

“The applicant (Jack) candidly admitted that she did not know how the prohibited substance came to be in her system,” the CAS findings read.

“She offered the possibilities … as the only possibilities she could think of.

“There is simply no evidence … that any of these speculative possibilities was in fact the reason for the presence of the prohibited substance in her system.”

Jack will be able to return to swimming just after next year’s Olympic trials. Her ban ends 11 days before the Tokyo Olympics.



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Blender may be drugs source: swimmer Jack


Australian swimmer Shayna Jack suggested a contaminated blender used by her partner or brothers as a possible source of her positive drugs test.

But Jack told her appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) that she probably will never know how the banned substance Ligandrol entered her system.

Jack appealed to CAS against a four-year suspension imposed after she tested positive to Ligandrol before last year’s world championships.

CAS last week reduced her ban to two years, finding Jack didn’t knowingly ingest the substance.

CAS has published its full decision in Jack’s appeal, noting she suggested three possible sources for her positive test.

Jack told CAS one possibility was supplements she was taking were contaminated at manufacturing.

Another possibility was the supplements were contaminated by being prepared or mixed in a blender which may have been used by her partner or brothers which, in turn, might have been contaminated or have contained Ligandrol.

A third possibility was she came into contact with the Ligandrol or ingested it as a result of using pool and/or gym open to the public in Townsville or Cairns while training in May and June last year for trials for the world championships.

“The applicant (Jack) candidly admitted that she did not know how the prohibited substance came to be in her system,” the CAS findings said.

“She offered the possibilities … as the only possibilities she could think of.

“There is simply no evidence … that any of these speculative possibilities was in fact the reason for the presence of the prohibited substance in her system.”

Jack told the hearing she had never knowingly touch Ligandrol in her life.

“The positive finding ‘killed’ me,” she told CAS.

“I want to be a role model. I want to make people proud of me.

“I am now so paranoid. Every day I am scared.”

Jack had been drug tested 10 times between February 2018 and June 26 last year – the date of her positive test. All other tests produced a negative result.

CAS’ sole arbitrator for the appeal was Sydney QC Alan Sullivan, who found Jack a wholly credible witness.

“She appeared to be completely straightforward, genuine and honest in the answers she gave,” the CAS decision said.

“Her dismay and upset at the situation she found herself was evident.

“The applicant did not come across … as someone who would intentionally cheat by deliberately taking a prohibited substance.”



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Swimmer killed in shark attack at Broome’s Cable Beach


“It was just a devastating thing to have happened,” he said. “It was very quick.

“It’s a one-of-a-kind [attack], I would think. I remember a pearl diver [more than] 20 years ago got killed and we’ve had a couple nips here and there from a couple of reef sharks when people have gotten too close but nothing like this.”

He said it was most likely a tiger shark as they were common there, attracted when offshore winds pulled lots of tiny bait fish close to shore. He said a hive of fish activity had been witnessed in recent days.

“There’s been a lot of fish schools very close to the shore, the bait was everywhere – big schools of mackerel and tuna – and unfortunately where there are big fish, even bigger ones follow.”

Premier Mark McGowan said the attack was a “very sad and traumatic situation” and passed on his condolences to the victim’s family.

“It’s a traumatic and unexpected event and so I’d just like to pass all of our thoughts on to the people who love the man who has passed away,” he said.

“For people who were present, it was a very, very serious set of events. I thank all of those people who attempted to rescue the man in the surf.

“A very sad day for Broome, a very sad day for his family and no doubt there’s a lot of grieving people at the moment.”

The beach was not patrolled by surf lifesavers at the time as their season ended in early November.

Police responded to reports of a serious shark attack at Cable Beach about 8.45am.

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A police spokesman said the victim was recovered from the water and was treated by local officers before St John Ambulance paramedics arrived.

“Police can confirm that tragically the man has died as a result of his injuries,” he said.

“More information will be provided when available.”

It is understood he lost his hand and was bitten on his upper thigh.

Shire rangers worked with Department of Fisheries to close Broome’s beaches. North of the rocks, Cable Beach and Gantheuame Beach are all closed.

Authorities urged people to stay out of the water and not travel to the beaches.

The shark is still roaming off the Broome coast and is being monitored by Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development.

Surf Life Saving WA lifesaving coordinator Nick Pavy said lifeguard services contracted by the Shire of Broome ended at Cable Beach on November 8 and lifesaver services from the Broome SLSC earlier in October.

“SLSWA is very mindful of the effect these types of incidents have on the WA community,” he said.

“Particularly those in regional areas where there is a close community network and the area depends on tourism typically linked with the coastline.

“We remind people to choose a patrolled beach where they can and swim between the red and yellow flags under the watchful eye of our lifesavers and lifeguards, to swim with a friend, and always to keep an eye on children around the water.”

Broome is one of the most frequently booked regional Australian destinations.

Broome is one of the most frequently booked regional Australian destinations. Credit:

Mr Pavy strongly encourage beachgoers to visit mybeach.com.au and follow @slswa on Twitter for up-to-date beach hazard information including shark sightings.

It has been just six weeks since the last fatal shark attack off the WA coast, after surfer Andrew Sharpe disappeared at a popular surf break at Esperance on the state’s south coast on October 9.

Authorities believe Mr Sharpe was taken by a shark after widespread reports of a sighting at the Kelp Beds at Wylie Beach in Esperance.

Despite a three-day search, his body was never found. His surfboard and parts of his wetsuit were later recovered.

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Shayna Jack’s lawyer claims Court of Arbitration for Sport ruling proves Australian swimmer didn’t cheat


Shayna Jack’s lawyer says the Australian swimmer has reason to feel vindicated by the Court of Arbitration for Sport’s (CAS) decision to reduce her doping suspension to two years.

The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority, whose functions are now operated by Sport Integrity Australia, had recommended Jack receive a four-year suspension after she tested positive to the banned substance Ligandrol last year.

The positive doping test had forced Jack to withdraw from Australia’s squad at the 2019 world swimming championships in South Korea.

Jack launched an appeal to the Swiss-based CAS, who last night ruled the result of the out-of-competition test showed the Commonwealth Games gold medallist had ingested Ligandrol but not intentionally in their view.

CAS imposed a reduced sanction of two years — commencing on the date of her provisional suspension (July 12, 2019) — meaning she will be free to return to competitive swimming next July but will miss Australia’s qualification period for the Tokyo Olympics.

Jack’s Brisbane-based lawyer Tim Fuller said the CAS ruling proved the 22-year-old was not a doping cheat.

“I think probably the thing that is most noteworthy about this case is the fact that the court has been very, very emphatic in saying there was no intent and intent is all about cheating,” he told the ABC.

“This is not somebody that set out to gain from the system. She was caught up in a situation that’s unexplainable.

“And that’s what the court — after an extensive and long-running investigation and hearing — has actually handed down.”

Jack (left) won Commonwealth Games gold in 2018 as a member of Australia’s 4×100 metres freestyle relay team.(AAP: Darren England)

Mr Fuller said Jack was experiencing “mixed feelings” because she would not be eligible to qualify for the Olympics next year.

But he said she was encouraged that she would be able to resume her career.

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Shayna Jack’s lawyer says the court found there was no intent to cheat.

“She can’t come back to competitive swimming until July next year,” Mr Fuller said.

“But look, in the end her career has been saved.”

Mr Fuller said CAS had recognised Jack’s honesty.

“One of the things that was noted in that decision was that she didn’t try to float these wild theories about how it got into her body,” he said.

“She just was up front and honest and said ‘I don’t know’ and that’s what the court’s ruled on.”

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Jack took to Instagram last night to express her relief following the ruling.

“I accept this decision with a positive attitude and with gratitude that my career as a swimmer will resume next year,” Jack wrote.

“I have never doubted myself for a minute throughout this ordeal and I have never allowed my integrity to be compromised.

“I walk a little taller tonight with the fact that this ordeal is finally over.”

Sport Integrity Australia released a statement on Monday night saying it remained satisfied that “it was appropriate to recommend a sanction of four years” based on the information available to the agency.

The agency’s chief executive David Sharpe said it would “consider the decision in greater detail before making any further comment”.

Sport Integrity Australia was given 21 days to lodge an appeal.

Jack was regarded as a rising star of Australian swimming prior to her positive doping test.

She was a member of Australia’s 4x100m freestyle relay team that set a world record at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.

She also won two silver and two bronze medals in relays at the 2017 world championships in Budapest.



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