Aussies' attitude receives pounding

Swimmer Shayna Jack with her mother Pauline after yesterday's hearing in Brisbane with the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Agency. The swimmer is trying to clear her name after testing positive for Ligandrol. Her manager has said she did not ingest the
Swimmer Shayna Jack with her mother Pauline after yesterday's hearing in Brisbane with the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Agency. The swimmer is trying to clear her name after testing positive for Ligandrol. Her manager has said she did not ingest the drug via supplements and they are looking into her diet. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Ex-Wada chief calls them out for criticising others as Jack vows to clear name for doping

BRISBANE • Former World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) president Dick Pound feels Swimming Australia no longer has a leg to stand on, criticising the country's "holier than thou" attitude towards doping in light of Shayna Jack's positive drug test for Ligandrol, a non-steroid anabolic agent.

In an interview with Australian media on Thursday, the Canadian hit out at the double standards practised by the country's swim officials and athletes, accusing them of being quick to point fingers at others, despite not "coming to the discussion with clean hands".

Australian swimming has been accused by Chinese state media of "hypocrisy" in its crusade against doping, following its vociferous support of Olympic 400m freestyle champion Mack Horton's refusal to share a podium with rival Sun Yang at last month's world championships in Gwangju, South Korea.

The high-profile protest was over alleged testing violations by the Chinese, only for egg to be left on Swimming Australia's face after Jack's adverse finding just days later.

Agreeing with their stance, Pound said: "It looks like you (Australia) have been walking both sides of the fence.

"Australia should make it clear that they are as upset about one of their swimmers being caught for doping as they would be if the swimmer was Chinese.

"Australia has always been pretty firm about its opposition to doping, but if the sauce is good for the goose it has to be good for the gander."

Jack met the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (Asada) in Brisbane for a briefing on the test results yesterday, defiantly vowing "I won't stop until I clear my name".

The 20-year-old, part of Australia's 4x100m freestyle team who set a world record of 3min 30.05sec last year, is facing a four-year ban after Ligandrol was detected in an out-of-competition test in June.

She was withdrawn from the national squad ahead of the Gwangju meet for "personal reasons", before it was revealed last weekend her B urine sample had tested positive for the banned drug.

While the incident has proven to be hugely embarrassing for Australian swimming, Jack has denied knowingly taking the drug.

"I'm going to fight to get back in the pool because that's my dream and I'm never going to let that go," she said after the 41/2-hour hearing.

Asked where she thought the substance came from and how it got into her system, she replied: "It's still an ongoing investigation, so we can't clear that one up at the moment. We're still looking into it and we're not going to leave any stone unturned."

The next step in the process will be a notification from Asada in four to six weeks.

Her manager Phil Stoneman had insisted earlier this week she did not ingest the drug via supplements and they were examining her diet, suggesting "it could be anything".

Last November, Asada had highlighted the rising use of Ligandrol. It noted there had been 15 positive tests from 2015 to 2017, saying in its blog that it was "a substance that induces muscle growth without the side effects associated with steroid use".

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, XINHUA

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 03, 2019, with the headline 'Aussies' attitude receives pounding'. Print Edition | Subscribe