Mystery surrounds banned swimmer


The date for Shayna Jack's appeal hearing for a four-year doping violation ban has been kept secret as Australian swimming's rising star fights to clear her name.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) confirmed on Wednesday the hearing had been locked in.

"Please be advised that a hearing date has been set for this procedure," CAS said in a statement.

"However, at the request of the parties and of the arbitrator in charge of the proceedings, the date will not be communicated."

RELATED: Phone call that rocked Jack's world

Jack, 21, is appealing the four-year ban recommended by the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) in March.

It was the maximum suspension for a first doping offence.

The sprint star sent a defiant social media post last month declaring she was ready to "win this fight" after revealing she had received an update on her CAS appeal but did not specify a date.

View this post on Instagram

Now the real fight begins. Today I received further notice in relation to my hearing at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). Nearly twelve months ago, my world was turned upside down due to allegations of using a prohibited substance in my sport. Despite a lifetime of competing clean and knowing that I had not used any prohibited substance, my life changed in an instance and I was pitchforked into an unknown world of lawyers, politics and machinations that was completely foreign to me. The process has been extremely arduous and debilitating at times. There are many aspects of the anti-doping system that are seriously flawed but possibly the worst element is the presumption of guilt that one has to bear. What sort of system infers that you are guilty of an alleged breach and the responsibility falls on you to prove your innocence? Now though, I have an opportunity to stand and fight for my career and reputation. I intend to win this fight and put myself back in the pool and reclaim my position as a member of the Australian swim team. Everyone knows what it is like to have something precious taken away from them and I am no different. However, regaining my team membership and opportunity to competitively swim again is not my sole objective. Throughout this ordeal, I have learnt a considerable amount about myself. I learnt that the purest pursuit for me was my sport of swimming. I learnt that my individuality and uniqueness was the grounds for my underlying strength. I became acutely aware of my residual determination and my absolute and all-encompassing desire for the truth to be revealed. My understanding of the value of positive mental health and the benefits of a strong and positive mind was reinforced. My belief in who I am and what I stand for was fortified and my understanding of how my message is one to be shared with others was cemented. Not everyone will fight a flawed system and find themselves ostracised from their friends and support group for something they did not do. If you do though, stand up and fight and know that your honour will always be defended if you tell the truth.

A post shared by Shayna Jack (@shayna_jack) on

Jack has protested her innocence since being stood down from the Australian team in the lead-up to the 2019 world titles in July last year before it emerged she had tested positive to Ligandrol, a muscle growth agent.

A member of Australia's world record-breaking 4x100m freestyle relay team, Jack has denied knowingly taking the drug and claimed the banned substance could have got into her system by contamination.

Sports lawyer Tim Fuller, who heads Jack's legal team, said "all details of the CAS procedure are confidential at this stage".

"The CAS will make an announcement as to the hearing in due course," he told AAP.

Jack did not testify at her ASADA hearing but is expected to do so when she fronts CAS via video conference.

"Now the real fight begins … I received further notice in relation to my hearing at the Court of Arbitration for Sport," Jack posted on Instagram in mid- May with a picture of her shadow boxing.

"I intend to win this fight and put myself back in the pool and reclaim my position as a member of the Australian swim team."

Originally published as Mystery surrounds banned Aussie swimmer