Swimming Australia dopes must pay heavy price
SWIMMING Australia's credibility has been completely destroyed by their botched handling of the Shayna Jack doping case.
Heads now have to roll after this because Swimming Australia has wiped away any trust they had regained with the Australian public after the Stillnox scandal at the 2012 London Olympics.
Showing that they have not learnt their lessons from then, Swimming Australia's excuse that they were playing by the rules exposes their inability to grasp the situation.
And all because they couldn't make the tough call they needed to.
The instant Swimming Australia was notified that Jack had returned an adverse finding was the time for everyone to come clean.
As difficult as that would have been, it would have spared her from being caught in the crossfire of the war other swimmers are waging against China's biggest sports star Sun Yang.
Now, Swimming Australia stands accused of a cover up, though strictly speaking, that's not exactly right. They did follow the rule book to the letter but that was where they got it all wrong.
Under the existing rules, Swimming Australia could not have revealed Jack's test result without her permission and the 20-year-old figured that if she came out, it would effect her teammates' performances at the world championships.
So she decided to wait it out while Swimming Australia peddled the line that she left the team for "personal reasons."
But Jack hadn't foreseen the massive doping row that was about to explode in South Korea and how that would change everything for her.
But Swimming Australia should have.
While they maintain no-one knew Mack Horton and Duncan Scott were going to protest against Sun Yang, everyone in the swimming world knew a big storm was brewing.
Swimming Australia went to the trouble of appointing a crisis team to deal with Jack's case once they were informed about her test but then they dropped the ball.
Instead of sitting down with Jack and her lawyers and advising her to go public because of the ramifications that would follow if the news was leaked, they rolled the dice and kept quiet.
And the news was leaked because Swimming Australia either didn't realise or didn't care that alarm bells were ringing because no-one just walks away from the chance of winning a world championship gold medal.
As the old duck test says, if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck, and her unexplained withdrawal bore all the hallmarks of a doping test.
It was only a matter of time before everything blew up in Swimming Australia's face and they've got no-one else to blame but themselves for plunging the sport into a crisis that won't be washed over by a few gold medals at next year's Tokyo Olympics.