Why ASADA suppressed Jack’s failed drug test
An investigation into determining whether Shayna Jack was preyed upon and targeted by a drug "facilitator" is the reason why the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority did not break the news of the swimmer's abnormal blood sample.
In a significant development, ASADA has released a public statement explaining why it was left to both Swimming Australia and Jack to reveal her failed drug test.
Swimming Australia's decision to withhold the information of Jack's test, even from her teammates, has led to widespread criticism of the governing body.
But Swimming Australia chief executive Leigh Russell has declared the organisation is comfortable with its decision to follow the policies and process guidelines it shares with ASADA.
ASADA is investigating whether Jack has 'inadvertently' tested positive to Ligandrol in both her A and B sample, or she has been caught-up in a "Stephen Dank" type scenario.
Although he was never found guilty of anti-doping violations and is no longer involved in sports, Dank has been accused of being the architect behind both the Essendon and Cronulla Sharks supplements scandals.
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They say a picture is worth a thousand words, in this case a picture can not describe the amount of pain and vulnerability I am feeling right now. It is with great sadness and heartache that I had to leave due to allegations of having a prohibited substance in my system. I did NOT take this substance knowingly. 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 jeopardise my career. Now there is an ongoing investigation and my team and I are doing everything we can to find out when and how this substance has come into contact with my body. I would appreciate if you respect my privacy as this is very hard for me to cope with
Under the direction of ASADA CEO David Sharpe, who was appointed in 2017, the national sports-doping agency has spent the past 18 months using their powers and ties with the AFP, and both state and territory police, to target drug dealers, organised crime and anyone who plays a role in making sport dirty.
Sharpe is determined to rid Australian sport of "facilitators" which is why in a statement on Monday ASADA explained their process behind withholding any detail over Jack's drug bombshell.
"As a leading anti-doping organisation ASADA is one of a few anti-doping organisations globally that has investigation powers under legislation,'' the ASADA statement reads.
"It is ASADA's standard practice to conduct a thorough investigation in relation to all allegations of doping in Australian sport, including when an athlete returns a 'positive' test result for a non-specified prohibited substance.
"This enables ASADA to assess the veracity of an athlete's claims and determine whether other athletes or support persons are involved in a broader anti-doping issue, as well as taking into account the rights and welfare of the athlete.
"More importantly, our investigations enable ASADA to target facilitators who may be preying on Australian sport and our athletes.
"Australians' demand that our athletes compete on a level playing field and ASADA's investigative powers and capability are an instrumental tool in ensuring that we lead the way in this area."