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Shayna Jack Suspension Reduction Appealed By WADA And Sport Integrity Australia

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fter the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) reduced Australian swimmer, Shayna Jack’s initial four-year suspension from international sport to two years, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and Sport Integrity Australia (SIA) have appealed the CAS decision, the ABC reported.

After the ruling from CAS, Jack was due to make her return to international swimming in 2021 after the Tokyo Olympic Games, but the 2021 return could be again pushed to 2023 if WADA and SIA are successful in their appeals.

SIA chief executive, David Sharpe, confirmed the appeal decision, saying the organisation needs clarity regarding anti-doping legal principles after “careful consideration of the legal issues.”

“Sport Integrity Australia will always act to ensure a level playing field for athletes,” Sharpe said.

“In order to protect athletes and sporting competitions, we must have clarity and consistency in the application of the World Anti-Doping Code,” he said.

The decision by WADA to appeal the length of the ban, however, follows WADA announcing last month they were considering ending the suspension of athletes who had inadvertently tested positive to miniscule levels of banned substances.

The CAS ruling indicated Jack hadn’t intentionally taken the banned substance, Ligandrol, but did not completely remove Jack’s suspension, as it was proved Jack had the substance in her system in the lead up to a World Championship competition.

The appeals will be heard by a panel of three arbitrators, one selected by Jack, one selected by the appealing party, and a third to act as president of the bench, selected by the CAS, with an expected six-nine month timeline for the court process.

WADA founding president, Dick Pound, after finding out Jack’s sentence was reduced to two years, rejected suggestions a lack of intent to take a banned substance proves innocence, according to the ABC.

“Your athlete was not innocent, it was a doped athlete, it was a doping offence,” Pound said.

“The only argument was what was the length of the sanction?

“She got that reduced because the CAS panel determined there was no significant fault.

“I don’t know what evidence they heard to overturn the four-year part, as opposed to two years, but that’s what courts are for.

“The sentence of the guilty person is reduced, but the person is still guilty.

“It’s very seldom that doping is accidental, notwithstanding what somebody caught will say,” he said.