Shayna Jack, Australian swimmer, banned 2 years in doping case

Shayna Jack
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Shayna Jack, one of Australia’s fastest swimmers, received a two-year ban for non-intentional doping, ruling her out of competition through July 11, six days after the Tokyo Olympic entry deadline and 12 days before the Opening Ceremony.

Jack, 22, tested positive for ligandrol, a banned anabolic agent, on June 26, 2019, and was withdrawn from Australia’s world championships team that summer. She was provisionally banned July 12, 2019, which is the start date for her backdated two-year ban announced Monday.

A sole arbitrator found that Jack did not intentionally ingest ligandrol, according to the Court of Arbitration for Sport’s press release. An original ban of four years imposed by Australian officials in December was halved.

Jack previously said she did not know how ligandrol entered her system but learned that it can be found in contaminated supplements.

“The anti-doping rules are far from satisfactory and can produce results that are far from fair,” was posted on Jack’s social media on Monday. “In my case, I have proven that I have NOT ever cheated, nor used prohibited substances intentionally or knowingly. I will still incur two years out of the sport in which I love. I cannot change the rules and the rules will remain as they are for the time being. Therefore, I accept this decision with a positive attitude and with gratitude that my career as a swimmer will resume next year.”

The Australian Olympic team will be chosen after its swimming trials in June, which Jack will miss.

Jack was Australia’s fourth-fastest woman in the 100m freestyle in 2017, 2018 and 2019, making her valuable in the 4x100m free relay. Australia is the reigning Olympic and world champion in the event, relegating the U.S. to silver medals.

Without Jack, Australia reclaimed the world title from the U.S. in 2019, clocking a championship record 3:30.21 to win by .81.

If the U.S. can overtake Australia at the Tokyo Olympics, it would further Simone Manuel‘s bid for medal history next summer. Manuel is the reigning world champion at 50m and 100m freestyle and has the potential to swim on four relays in which the U.S. won a world title in either 2017 or 2019.

Only one woman has won six golds at a single Olympics — East German swimmer Kristin Otto in 1988.

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South Korea’s first gold medalist of 2018 PyeongChang Olympics to compete for China

Lim Hyo-Jun

Lim Hyo-Jun, a short track speed skater who won South Korea’s first gold medal of the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics, has been cleared to skate for China and was reportedly named to the national team Monday.

Lim, who won the 1500m on the first day of medal competition at the PyeongChang Games, began the process of switching to China after a June 2019 incident where he pulled down a teammate’s trousers, leaving him standing, exposed, in front of female teammates.

Lim, the 2019 World overall champion, was banned from the team for a year and later found guilty of sexual harassment before the verdict was overturned on appeal.

It was reported in March 2021 that Lim was in the process of trying to gain Chinese nationality to compete at the Beijing Winter Olympics, but Lim was not cleared to switch by the International Skating Union until this July. His Chinese name is Lin Xiaojun.

Another star South Korean skater, triple 2006 Olympic gold medalist Ahn Hyun-Soo, switched to Russia after not making the 2010 Olympic team. He then won three golds for the host nation as Viktor Ahn at the 2014 Sochi Games.

China’s national team for the upcoming season reportedly does not include veterans Wu Dajing, the nation’s lone gold medalist across all sports at the 2018 Olympics, and Fan Kexin, a three-time Olympic medalist.

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Brigid Kosgei, world record holder, to miss London Marathon

Brigid Kosgei

World record holder Brigid Kosgei withdrew before Sunday’s London Marathon due to a right hamstring injury that has bothered her for the last month.

“My training has been up and down and not the way I would like to prepare to be in top condition,” was posted on Kosgei’s social media. “We’ve decided it’s best I withdraw from this year’s race and get further treatment on my injuries in order to enter 2023 stronger than ever.”

Kosgei, a 28-year-old Kenyan mother of twins, shattered the world record by 81 seconds at the 2019 Chicago Marathon. She clocked 2:14:04 to smash Brit Paula Radcliffe‘s record from 2003.

Since, Kosgei won the 2020 London Marathon, took silver at the Tokyo Olympics, placed fourth at the 2021 London Marathon and won this past March’s Tokyo Marathon in what was then the third-fastest time in history (2:16:02).

Ethiopian Tigist Assefa moved into the top three by winning the Berlin Marathon last Sunday in 2:15:37.

The London Marathon women’s field includes Kenyan Joyciline Jepkosgei, a winner in New York City (2019) and London (2021), and Yalemzerf Yehualaw, who was the Ethiopian record holder until Assefa won in Berlin.

The men’s field is headlined by Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele, the second-fastest male marathoner in history, and Brit Mo Farah, a four-time Olympic champion on the track.

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