Australian swimmers Bronte and Cate Campbell have spoken out in support of fellow swimmer Shayna Jack, saying they believe she is not at fault for testing positive to a banned substance and that the treatment of her by the media has been “despicable”.
- Swimmers Bronte and Cate Campbell believe Shayna Jack did not knowingly take a banned substance
- Cate Campbell says Jack has not been treated fairly by the media
- Jack is trying to clear her name after testing positive for the drug Ligandrol in July
Jack, 20, said she did not intentionally take the substance and is facing a four-year ban from the sport.
“Learning about Shayna, that was a pretty big bombshell for everyone,” Bronte said.
“You know that her life is never going to be the same again.”
Bronte said it was an athlete’s “worst nightmare”.
“You feel so, so sorry for her, especially in the fallout that happened afterwards, which I thought was just kind of despicable,” Bronte said.
“It’s a lot for a young 20-year-old to go through.
Shayna Jack (left) won Commonwealth Games gold with Bronte (second from left) and Cate Campbell (far right) last year. (AAP: Darren England)
“You know she hasn’t done this on purpose.
“It’s like you go to a cafe and you decide you want to eat one of those protein balls and the protein they’ve used is not the right kind or got cross-contaminated. It’s so easy.”
‘I feel incredibly sorry for her’
Cate Campbell also said she believed Jack was not at fault.
“It’s made me a little bit paranoid, because she can’t explain how the substance got in her system,” she said.
“I believe that she would never willingly dope. I don’t believe that any Australian could knowingly dope and get away with it.
“We have the toughest anti-doping policy in the world. I am tested out of competition randomly at least once a month.”
Bronte and Cate Campbell following the Women’s 100m Freestyle Final at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast. (AAP: Dave Hunt)
She said the way Jack was treated by the media was “a violation of an athlete’s right to privacy”.
“At the time, she wasn’t even a declared positive test because we have an A sample and a B sample, and she still had to have a B sample tested to make sure that that also came back positive,” Cate said.
“There can be false positives. And there has been in the past.
“She hasn’t hit someone, she hasn’t raped someone … she hasn’t gone out and disgraced herself publicly.
“This poor girl was completely hauled over the coals for something I believe was not her fault.
“The way she was vilified was just despicable and I feel incredibly sorry for her.”