Banned swim star begs public for money
A tearful Shayna Jack has turned to crowdfunding to try and save her swimming career, pleading with the Australian public to help her fight the doping authorities who want her two-year ban doubled.
Fighting back tears, an emotional Jack launched her fundraising campaign through her Instagram account, asking for donors to fund her upcoming appeal against Sport Integrity Australia (SIA) and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
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The 22-year-old Queenslander is currently serving a reduced two year ban after testing positive to the banned anabolic agent ligandrol before the 2019 world championships.
That ban is due to expire this June but SIA and WADA have since appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) asking that the penalty be restored to four years.
That's left Jack having to mount another legal defence, which she says she can't afford and needs public help to continue.
"It breaks my heart every day that I'm still up against these people which I feel are constantly kicking me down," she said.
"It breaks my heart every day thinking that I can never win.
"I'd like to ask for your help in order to keep fighting. I don't have the finds and nor does my family.
"And if I don't fight, I could potentially get the maximum ban because I couldn't set up for myself in my next appeal."
It was just a week ago that Jack revealed for the first time the crippling financial cost of her ongoing battle to clear her name as worried family and close friends try to keep her spirits afloat.
She divulged that she has forked out more than $130,000 in trying to prove her innocence and privately, her inner circle have become increasingly concerned about the emotional toll the drawn out anti-doping case is having on her wellbeing.
Initially suspended until 2023 after tiny traces of the banned anabolic agent ligandrol were discovered in her urine sample taken at a Swimming Australia training camp in Cairns, Jack succeeded in getting her ban halved to two years after fronting CAS.
In a judgment that she proclaimed on her social media account as proof she was I•N•N•O•C•E•N•T, the sole arbitrator found that Jack "did not intentionally ingest ligandrol" so was entitled to a reduced penalty even though she failed to prove where the traces came from.
The Daily Telegraph exclusively revealed the extraordinary lengths and expense Jack went to in a futile attempt to locate the source of contamination - including sending strands of her hair as well as the contents of her nail polish and toothpaste to be tested by overseas laboratories.
But her relief at getting the ban halved was short lived when doping officials appealed CAS's decision to reduce the penalty.
As her Dolphins' teammates continue preparing for this year's postponed Tokyo Olympics - due to start on July 23 - Jack still has no idea when she can finally return to the pool.
Her current two year suspension ends 11 days before the Opening Ceremony in Japan, too late for her to compete at the Australian trials, but with the appeal against her still in progress - the freestyle sprinter is now begging for help just to fight her case
"I never would have thought at 22 years old I would have depleted my life savings and need to raise money to afford to continue my fight," she said.
"I have exhausted everything in the last 19 months fighting and to continue my fight I now need your help."
Originally published as Banned swim star begs public for money