Australian swimmer Shayna Jack has had a four-year doping suspension halved after it was found she did not intentionally use a banned substance.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruled on Monday that Jack serve a two-year ban after returning a positive sample to Ligandrol – but not in time for the Tokyo Olympics.
Jack was originally suspended for a maximum four years despite pleading her innocence during an Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority hearing.
The 22-year-old returned a positive sample in an out-of-competition test at an Australian team training camp in June 2019 as she prepared for the world championships in South Korea.
In handing down its finding, CAS said Jack did not knowingly take Ligandrol.
“The sole arbitrator in charge of this matter found, on the balance of probabilities, that 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.”
Ligandrol is supposed to add muscle mass without the side effects of steroids.
Jack’s ban will be backdated to the start of her provisional suspension from July 2019 and she can return to competition in July next year.
In statement released on social media, Jack said was looking forward to returning to the pool.
“The CAS have confirmed in emphatic terms that I did not intentionally, knowingly or recklessly use Ligandrol in any manner,” she posted on Instagram.
“I have proven that I have not ever cheated, nor used prohibited substances intentionally or knowingly.
“I will still incur two years out of the sport in which I love. I cannot change the rules and the rules will remain as they are for the time being.
“Therefore, I accept this decision with a positive attitude and with gratitude that my career as a swimmer will resume next year.
“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.
“I am returning to swimming – the sport that I have loved all my life and the sport that I will cherish just that little bit more ongoing.”
Jack’s appeal to CAS was heard on September 25 and September 28.