Shayna Jack wins gold medal for Australia in 4x100m freestyle relay, doping ban, FINA Swimming World Championships

Shayna Jack endured years of pain, but is now on top of the world after her return to the top tier got underway in scintillating fashion.

Shayna Jack is a world champion.

A moment in time that seemed unlikely when you consider where she has come from. On the eve of the 2019 World Championships it was revealed Jack had tested positive to anabolic agent Ligandrol.

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Jack was sent home and hit with a four-year ban from all competitions. Jack continually maintained his innocence and had his suspension cut in half by the Court of Arbitration for Sport in November 2020.

However, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and Sport Integrity Australia (SIA) appealed the leniency of the two-year ban a month later before it was finally quashed in September last year, allowing Jack to continue her swimming career.

Now Jack is back on top of the world after anchoring the women’s 4x100m freestyle relay to gold in Budapest, Hungary.

After Mollie O’Callaghan, Madi Wilson and Meg Harris built over a second lead before the final leg, Jack entered the water and surged home to claim the gold medal.

“I felt a bit of pressure because obviously it’s my first race but having these girls on my side just took that away,” Jack told News Corp.

“And for me, knowing that the girls that have anchored in the past, like Cate and Emma and those amazing role models for us, it’s nice to be in that position and bring home the gold for these girls as well.”

Jack was at her best during the recent Australian Championships, recording the then fastest time in the world in the 50m freestyle. After realizing she had qualified for the World Championships and Commonwealth Games, Jack was overwhelmed with emotion.

“I’m overwhelmed with emotion to be back on the team,” Jack said after qualifying in the 100m freestyle.

“Not very many people know what I actually really went through – you know the depths of it and to be back and wearing those colors again means more than anything to me.

“My goal was to love swimming and fall in love with it again and I have and I’m really, really proud to be back.

“There’s a lot of times I thought I might not get to this point – not just obviously because of the whole case and everything like that – but I struggled, I kind of lost touch with why I love swimming and why I did swim.

“It’s still a journey, I’m still learning and doing things and working with psychologists with all those things and that’s been really, really beneficial with my comeback.”

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