Shayna Jack was removed from the World Championship team after failing a drugs test. (AAP: Darren England)
Swimming star Shayna Jack has maintained her innocence in the doping case against her, saying a steroid detected in her blood may have come from cross-contamination.
Jack, 21, faces a suspension of up to four years after testing positive in July to Ligandrol, a non-steroid anabolic agent popular with bodybuilders.
The positive test resulted in her being dumped from the 2019 world titles team.
Jack is expecting to be formally charged by the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) by Christmas.
In her first interview since the scandal emerged, Jack told The Sunday Project that she did not take the steroid but could have easily come into contact with it through another person.
Shayna Jack is facing a two-year ban from swimming if ASADA rules against her. (AAP: Darren England)
“I had a lot of people come forward and tell me that they take this drug. Just general people who go to the gym. Some people were using it as recovery … they took it as a drop,” Jack said.
“There’s the chance of it being in a contaminated supplement.
“The only unfortunate thing is I actually hadn’t taken supplements in two months prior to that test.”
Jack then outlined the “kiss cocaine case” defence.
“There was a case in the past called the ‘kiss cocaine case’ where someone had taken cocaine and then the partner, who was an athlete, kissed that person and they were contaminated because they had contact with something someone else had taken.
“I was told that anything I had come in contact with during that period could have been a risk of the contamination.”
The case Jack referred to involved Canadian pole vaulter Shawn Barber, who successfully used this defence to avoid a two-year ban and compete at the Rio Olympics in 2016.
An independent arbitrator ruled there had been “no fault or negligence” by Barber, who met a woman to “relieve stress” ahead of the Canadian Olympic trials.
The woman said that she had consumed cocaine but did not tell Barber before kissing him.
Barber said in a statement at the time: “At no time during my actions, did I even fathom the possibility of being able to be contaminated with cocaine.
“This is a learning experience that I hope other athletes can learn from, as I have.”
Athletics Canada said the outcome was “a fair and reasonable decision” and that Barber “has satisfied the burden of establishing, on a balance of probability, that he bears no fault or negligence in committing a violation”.
Jack’s manager, Phil Stoneman, said shortly after she tested positive that it was possible the Ligandrol may have entered her system through something she ate.
If ASADA rules against her, Jack faces a four-year ban from competitive swimming.