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A week after Mack Horton's doping protest, an Australian swimmer has failed a drug test.

Australian swim star Shayna Jack has failed a drug test, just one week after Mack Horton staged a protest against Chinese swimmer Sun Yang, who was suspended for doping in 2014.

“It is with great sadness and heartache that I had to leave due to allegations of having a prohibited substance in my system,” Jack posted to her Instagram, confirming her drug-use.

“I did NOT take this substance knowingly,” the 20-year-old insisted. “Swimming has been my passion since I was 10 years old and I would never intentionally take a banned substance that would disrespect my sport and jeopardise my career.”

She continued: “Now there is an ongoing investigation and my team and I are doing everything we can to find out when and how this substance has come into contact with my body. I would appreciate if you respect my privacy as this is very hard for me to cope with.”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, in this case a picture can not describe the amount of pain and vulnerability I am feeling right now. It is with great sadness and heartache that I had to leave due to allegations of having a prohibited substance in my system. I did NOT take this substance knowingly. Swimming has been my passion since I was 10 years old and I would never intentionally take a banned substance that would disrespect my sport and jeopardise my career. Now there is an ongoing investigation and my team and I are doing everything we can to find out when and how this substance has come into contact with my body. I would appreciate if you respect my privacy as this is very hard for me to cope with

A post shared by Shayna Jack (@shayna_jack) on

Mack Horton’s protest

The timing of Jack’s use of prohibited substance is all the more prominent with Australians being among the most vocal of those taking a public stance against a Chinese swimmer’s drug allegations this week.

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When Mack Horton was awarded the silver medal at the World Championships in South Korea, he refused to stand beside 27-year-old Sun, a man he called a “drug cheat” after beating him at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

On top of this, Sun Yang is currently subject to ongoing accusations of doping violations that could see him banned from the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

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Mack Horton refused to stand on the podium next to Sun Yang. Image: Getty.

Swimming Australia 'cover up'

Swimming Australia are being condemned by the public for not being honest from the start.

The sport's governing body is accused of trying to cover the news up, therefore leaving Australia vulnerable to global ridicule.

When the 100-metre freestyler announced her departure from the World Championships, she publicly cited "personal reasons". We now know that in fact Jack was unable to compete due to prohibited substances in her system.

"Once Swimming Australia was made aware of the adverse test result, it immediately took action — in accordance with the national policy — to provisionally suspend Shayna from the Australian swim team while a process was under way and accompanied her back to Australia from a training camp being held in Japan," Swimming Australia said in a statement.

They further stated: "Under the process, all details are required to remain confidential until ASADA has completed its investigations, the athlete is afforded due process and an outcome determined."

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However Richard Ings, the former head of Australia's anti-doping authority ASADA, refuted Swimming Australia's claims.

"If Swimming Australia are suggesting that their anti-doping policy, approved by ASADA, forbids them from announcing the Jack provisional suspension, they are wrong," Ings tweeted.

"[Section] 14.3.1 permits Swimming Australia to go public."

Speaking to ABC, Ings further criticised Swimming Australia for their dealing of the prohibition.

"This is a reminder that these sort of allegations of positive drug tests can happen to any athlete, in any sport, in any country and not just in China," he told the public broadcaster.

"The public do notice and ultimately what was said by Shayna Jack and Swimming Australia weeks ago about vague personal reasons become transparent weeks later as a lie. The truth needs to be told at the beginning."

However it is important, he emphasised, that we give Jack the "presumption of innocence unless or until a tribunal finds otherwise".

Read more: 

Mack Horton was furious so he launched a protest on the podium. Maybe he shouldn't have.

Tags: alex-mack , news-stories , sports , swimming
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