"... What is the difference between U.S. swimmer Hardy and Chinese swimmers Qu Jing, Liu Bingyao, Zuo Ziqiao, Fu Bo and Hu Shaozi?
And why might that difference factor into Chicago's 2016 Olympic hopes?
First, the facts (with a little interpretation, of course):
* All six swimmers tested positive last year for the anabolic steroid clenbuterol.
* The five Chinese have received two-year suspensions, as mandated by the World Anti-Doping Code, from their national swimming federation.
* Hardy's two-year suspension was cut in half by an American Arbitration Assn. panel that on Monday issued one of the strangest rulings in what long has been an Alice-in-Wonderland world of doping punishments. ..."
He goes on to say that the shortened suspension [flies] in the face of the IOC and WADA ..."[Link]
Read the article for he goes into specifics.
Next, Ron Judd in Seattle who I think is the finest sports journalist around quoted the following in the Seattle Times:
"... "Every single raw material used in the specific lots consumed by Ms. Hardy [Hardy is the AdvoCare Lawyer] also tested negative (Not Detected) for Clenbuterol."
The test results were certified by NSF International, an independent laboratory licensted to test for controlled substances, the release states. The results also were certified by HFL Sports Science, a World Anti-Doping Association-experienced laboratory that AdvoCare says has analyzed more samples for banned substances than any other lab in the world. ..."
My take: I am willing to presume Jessica Hardy is telling the truth because I have a reasonable doubt or more accurately, a bias towards "Nutritional Supplement" salesmen.
I will accept that her intake was accidental but I can't accept that her suspension is allowed to be shortened whereas the other athletes from China are forced to sit out the 2012 games. We either follow international rules or we don't compete.