Shayna Jack’s kiss and tell might just work
So, what did you think of Shayna Jack's "I may have got it through kissing" defence?
Yeah, yeah, I know, but don't laugh too soon. It's worked before.
Swimmer Jack, who tested positive to Ligandrol in August, isn't the first athlete to suggest that the illegal substance in her system was passed innocently through lip-to-lip contact and, given the success rate, she won't be the last.
In fact, as far-fetched excuses go, kissing is one of the most believed by authorities.
Those who have claimed that the illicit drugs in their system were ingested while kissing - and had their bans overturned or reduced - include French tennis player Richard Gasquet, US Olympic 400m runner Gil Roberts and Canadian world pole vault champion Shawn Barber.
Gasquet's story was that he met a woman named Pamela in a Miami nightclub and that she must have passed cocaine into his mouth when they kissed. Given the Miami nightclub scene it's not surprising that his story was believed and he received a cursory 10 week suspension.
Roberts claimed his positive test was the result of his girlfriend emptying the contents of some antibiotic capsules used to treat a sinus problem onto her tongue prior to them engaging in some serious lip action. He was cleared.
And Barber convinced authorities that he had taken all possible precautions by stipulating that he was only interested in a "drug-free, disease-free" woman when he advertised for a sexual partner on an online dating site.
Incredibly his stringent screening process proved less that foolproof. The woman later testified that she had used cocaine prior to their encounter, and he was cleared.
Perhaps encouraged by the success of the kissing defence several athletes have tried to take it to the next level (and in some cases the next level after that) with mixed results, so to speak.
In 1996 Spanish walker Daniel Plaza told doping authorities that the Nandrolone found in his system had been naturally produced by his pregnant wife and passed on to him when … well, you work it out.
With medical evidence that such an occurrence was, if not probable, then at least possible, his original two year suspension was later quashed.
Pumped up by this result, in 2005 Bulgarian tennis player Sesil Karatantantcheva also used the old naturally produced Nandrolone through pregnancy excuse.
She might well have got away with it too, except for one small problem. She wasn't pregnant.
US 1992 Olympic 4x100m relay gold medallist Dennis Mitchell was another one who fell down in the credibility stakes. He claimed he returned heightened levels of testosterone because he had been tested after drinking five beers and having sex five times with his wife the night before.
"It was her birthday," he said. "The lady deserved a treat."
Obviously the authorities were of the opinion that it is impossible to have sex five times in one night after drinking five beers, and he was banned for two years.
And then of course there was the case of US Olympic 2008 400m champion LaShawn Merritt who blamed three failed tests between 2009 and 2010 on the effects of an over-the-counter penis enlargement medication.
He was given 21 months on the sideline to reflect on the size of his mistake.
All of which suggests that Shayna Jack's kiss and tell defence might not be as silly as it sounds.
At the very least it's worth a try.