Chinese trolls have descended on Australian swimmer Shayna Jack after she failed a drug test and pulled out of the World Championships.
Dozens flooded her Instagram comments with taunts and drowned out Australian fans who tried to support the embattled athlete.
Jack initially claimed she was pulling out of the competition for ‘personal reasons’ but was forced to come clean on Saturday as news of her failed test broke.
Chinese trolls have descended on Australian swimmer Shayna Jack after she failed a drug test and pulled out of the World Championships
Australian swimmer Shayna Jack (pictured) reportedly failed a doping test ahead of the World Championships, forcing her to pull out of the competition
Dozens flooded her Instagram comments with taunts and drowned out Australian fans who tried to support the embattled athlete
‘It is with great sadness and heartache that I had to leave due to allegations of having a prohibited substance in my system,’ she wrote on Instagram.
‘I did NOT take this substance knowingly. Swimming has been my passion since I was 10 years old and I would never intentionally take a banned substance that would disrespect my sport and jeopardise my career.’
Within hours, she was under attack in both English and Chinese from swimming fans who called her a drug cheat, many spamming emojis of medical pills.
‘This country of Australia is as rubbish as your swimmers. You’re doing drugs and losing face,’ one wrote.
‘You’re laughing so hard, dad. Shame on. go back to your country, don’t come out and lose face!’
Many were inflamed by the ongoing controversy with Chinese gold medalist Sun Yang who was allowed to compete despite his own doping investigation.
Australian swim star Mack Horton was frequently referenced as the Chinese commenters accused Australians of hypocrisy.
Horton last week ignited a firestorm when he refused to share the podium with Sun after narrowly losing the 400m freestyle.
Revelations of Ms Jack’s reason for pulling out of the swim event come after swimmer Mack Horton (left) staged a protest against Chinese swimmer Sun Yang (centre)
‘The only thing for Mack Horton to do now is to denounce his citizenship or quit swimming cuz he’s too proud to be in the team with drug cheats,’ a Chinese troll taunted.
‘Aussies, what is a joke. Picked [on] someone else drug cheats, what about yourself?’ another wrote.
‘Make sure your all clean and then you have got right to prejudged Sun. Karma.’
Other Chinese commenters had more bizarre insults and strange suggestions for Jack and members of her team.
‘The Australian swimming team can be disbanded. Or you can go to the drug trafficking,’ one wrote, implying the swimmers would be too fast for police to catch.
Another wrote:’ ‘Don’t explain it to your mother. You should return your medals.’
The Chinese weren’t the only ones giving Jack a hard time. Though many Australians left supportive messages, others felt betrayed.
‘Spare us the bulls**t. You’ve been caught out big time and now you are trying to cover your a**e,’ an Australian man wrote.
‘Thank you for making a lot of Australians look like absolute fools now!’
Ms Jack (pictured) looked set to make a major impact at the world titles for Australia in their premier relay outfits after showing express pace by finishing third in a world-class 200m final and fourth in the 100m decider at the recent trials in Brisbane
U.S. breaststroke champion Lilly King also lashed out, telling reporters she considered Jack a ‘drug cheat’.
Australian team leader Cate Campbell said no member of the Dolphins team knew about Jack’s positive test until it was splashed across the news.
‘I had absolutely no knowledge of this before tonight. All I knew before is that it was a personal matter and we were respecting her privacy,’ she said.
‘I think that we have to respect the process. We stand for clean sport and I think the fact that Shayna isn’t here at the moment strengthens that stance.’
Swimming World Championships drama
* Chinese swimming star Sun Yang is investigated over claims he smashed a vial of his blood with a hammer to stop it being tested
* Australia’s Mack Horton responds by refusing to share the podium with him at the World Championships
* British swimmer Duncan Scott does the same in a different race, prompting an angry tirade from Sun
* Australian swimmer Shayna Jack’s withdrawal from the competition is revealed to be the result of a positive drug test
Swimming Australia overnight confirmed Jack failed a routine test from June 26, but did not divulge what drug she tested positive to.
The governing body claimed it kept the result a secret due to its process rules during investigations.
‘Under the specific legislation governing Australia’s drug testing regime, Swimming Australia is notified of any adverse test result as is WADA and FINA,’ it said.
‘Under the process, all details are required to remain confidential until ASADA has completed its investigations, the athlete is afforded due process and an outcome determined.’
However Richard Ings, the former head of Australia’s anti-doping authority ASADA, said this interpretation was wrong.
‘The WADA Code permits sports to publicly announce the details of provisional suspensions,’ he said.
‘Many major sports have learned the hard way that if you cover up you inevitably get burned. Swimming Australia is learning that lesson now too. Always announce provisional suspensions.’
Jack said in her Insagram post that she was finding the allegations ‘very hard to cope with’.
‘Now there is an ongoing investigation and my team and I are doing everything we can to find out when and how this substance has come into contact with my body,’ she wrote.
With high hopes pinned to the swimmer, the sporting world was thrown into shock when Ms Jack (pictured) announced she would not compete at Gwangiu, in South Korea
Jack looked set to make a major impact at the world titles for Australia in their premier relay outfits after showing express pace by finishing third in a world-class 200m final and fourth in the 100m decider at the recent trials in Brisbane.
With high hopes pinned to the swimmer, the sporting world was thrown into shock when Jack announced she would not compete at Gwangiu, in South Korea.
At the time Dolphins assistant Michael Bohl could shed no further light as to why the swimmer had mysteriously pulled out.
‘We are not exactly sure. She left the team which we are obviously very disappointed about but she has left for personal reasons,’ Bohl said.
‘We all respect the privacy she has asked for and we will find out in time.’
Horton, 23 (pictured, with his partner), accepted his silver medal but did not stand on the podium alongside Sun as the Chinese national anthem played – nor did he pose for photographs with his rival
Revelations of Ms Jack’s reason for pulling out of the swim event come after swimmer Mack Horton staged a protest against Chinese swimmer Sun Yang.
Sun served a doping ban in 2014 and has been accused of destroying vials of his blood with a hammer during a clash with testers last year.
Sun has been allowed to compete in South Korea by FINA, with a September Court of Arbitration for Sport hearing looming that if found guilty, will give him a lifetime suspension from the sport.
The Chinese swimmer narrowly beat Olympic champion Horton to claim his fourth-straight 400m freestyle world title at the opening night of the eight-day swim titles in South Korea.
Horton, 23, accepted his silver medal but did not stand on the podium alongside Sun as the Chinese national anthem played – nor did he pose for photographs with his rival.
Horton stood his ground throughout the awkward medal ceremony after previously being the only swimmer in the field not to shake Sun’s hand after the race.