It's not all smiles for Shanya Jack.
It's not all smiles for Shanya Jack.

The question hanging over Shayna Jack

SWIMMING Australia clearly warns its athletes, such as Shayna Jack, about using supplements, citing potential health and doping risks and recommending they document their intake.

But it's unclear whether Jack complied with the swimming body's risk management process by officially recording her supplement use in the Australian Institute of Sport athlete management system.

Jack, 20, faces a lengthy ban from swimming that could end her dreams of competing in next year's Tokyo Olympics after testing positive to the prohibited substance Ligandrol, also known as LGD-4033.

She has denied any wrongdoing in a long Instagram post.

"I pride myself on being the woman that young girls look up to and want to be like, not for the medals I win, but for the way I present myself day in, day out around the pool and in everyday life," she said.

"Now I feel like that can all be taken away because of some sort of contamination; no athlete is safe from the risks of contamination."

In 2016, international life sciences measurement and testing company LGC analysed 67 common supplements available for purchase in Australia, finding one in five contained substances banned in sport that were not declared on product labels.

Jack's positive out-of-competition test forced her withdrawal from the world swimming championships in Gwangju, South Korea, which ended at the weekend.

Ligandrol, the substance to which Shayna Jack tested positive
Ligandrol, the substance to which Shayna Jack tested positive

Swimming Australia's detailed sports supplement policy, dated August 2017, states: "The majority of supplements have little or no health or performance benefits. In addition, there are potential health and doping risks associated with their use."

It advises swimmers to keep records of names and batch numbers of every supplement they consume.

If Jack has recorded her supplement use on the AIS Athlete Management System it may give her an obvious defence for her positive test.

But when asked whether Jack had documented her supplement intake, a Swimming Australia spokeswoman said: "Those are questions for Shayna and not for Swimming Australia. We aren't in a position to comment."

An AIS spokeswoman said all the information collated via its Athlete Management System "is 100 per cent confidential".

Australian swim team swimmer Shayna Jack, who has test poitive for a banned substance. Instagram image.
Australian swim team swimmer Shayna Jack, who has test poitive for a banned substance. Instagram image.

Jack's management did not return emails or calls on Monday in response to questions about whether she had recorded her supplement use on the AIS system, as encouraged to do so by Swimming Australia.

But in her instagram post about the positive drug test, Jack said: "The day I found out was the day I began my fight to prove my innocence.

"Myself, along with my lawyer, management team, doctor and family have been working continuously to not only prove my innocence but to try to find out how this substance has come into contact with me."

The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority warned in a blog posted on November 6 last year an increasing number of athletes appeared to be linked to the use of Ligandrol.

The blog said Ligandrol was originally developed for the treatment of muscle-wasting conditions, such as osteoporosis, muscular dystrophy and cancer.

Australian swim team’s Shayna Jack, who has tested positive to a banned substance. Instagram photo.
Australian swim team’s Shayna Jack, who has tested positive to a banned substance. Instagram photo.

"It is claimed to be a substance that induces muscle (and bone) growth without the side effects associated with steroid use," the post said. "However, information on the safety of LGD-4033 is scarce due to a lack of medium and long-term clinical trials."

A spokeswoman for Australia's medicines regulator, the Therapeutic Goods Administration said Ligandrol belonged to a class of drugs known as selective androgen receptor modulators (SARMS), a group of experimental drugs sometimes used illegally in the "bodybuilding, image-enhancing and sports industries".

She said no products included on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods contained Ligandrol.

A host of dubious looking websites based in Australia offer SARMS often with the caveat "for research purposes only."

"The TGA strongly advises consumers who are contemplating buying medicines in retail outlets around Australia or over the internet, to look for either the Australian listing number (AUSTL), or Australian registration number (AUSTR) on the product label to know the products are regulated by the TGA," the spokeswoman said.

"Products available for purchase over the internet including from overseas-based internet sites without an AUSTL or AUSTR number are not Australian-regulated medicines and may not be subject to the same level of quality, safety or efficacy control as medicines regulated for sale in Australia by the TGA."