Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Carved in stone: Jessica Hardy is eligible for the 2012 Olympics if she so qualifies.

The IOC is going to let Jessica Hardy into the 2012 Olympic Games if she qualifies. For background on the original positive drug test see this link: [Link]

From The Los Angeles Times:
 "... Though the AAA found that a sanction longer than a year's suspension would be "disproportionate to the facts of the case," Hardy still had to wait for the IOC executive board to determine her Olympic eligibility for 2012.  
 It came almost a year ago when the IOC ruled she was eligible and Hardy said in a statement that she was "ecstatic the IOC has recognized my unique situation and that the rule [Rule 45] does not apply to me. ..." 
A couple of years ago I would have said she should be indefinitely suspended. She endorsed a product by a supplement company that was allegedly "dirty" according to the NCAA and she should take responsibility for what she ingested. How often have we heard, "you are responsible for what goes into your body so watch out." However, with that said, I am waffling....

Swimmers make SO LITTLE MONEY that one has to ask what does a national governing body; (International Olympic Committee), have to gain by DQing a swimmer over a drug that barely registered in her test samples and was so minute it probably did nothing to increase her abilities and perhaps even hindered her?

Swimmers are exploited to an amazing degree and I don't mean just the Olympians. Even the 12-to-14-year-old girls and boys on the pool deck are as well as they send in their dues to USA Swimming so an executive or two can make nearly a million-dollars-a-year and yet provide little in return.

[UPDATE] I want to qualify the above statement. Simply putting on competitions for USA Swimming kids to possibly qualify for the Olympic Games does not justify the salaries the top execs make. I say that because less than 99.999% of these kids will make the team. When a swimmer has no chance at all at making the national team, why should they have to pay any dues? Why not simply pay meet entry fees? Perhaps the LSCs should carry their own insurance too?

Hence, I don't want to see a swimmer get ruined after spending about 20-years in the pool in all sorts of weather busting her ass trying to get on the Olympic team and then lose it all over a questionable test.


Anonymous said...

"(...) a drug that barely registered in her test samples. In other words, so minute it probably did nothing to increase her abilities and perhaps even hindered her?"

This is a big assumption and one I would have to disagree with. She doped and meant to test clean but got unlucky.

Many athletes dope and pass the tests. You just have to look at cases like Marion Jones or baseball where tests were consistently passed to see how ineffective testing is. I'm a little amazed that people constantly give athletes a pass or believe their excuses when they actually do test positive.

Glenn said...

I spent last week filming Jessica. I've known her personally for quite a while, as she was a young swimmer training with Dave Denniston under Dave Salo when I started my business. What I've seen through those years is the same person. She carries the joy of her youth with her everywhere, and now... the heaviness that she'll never go forward without having this mark on her career. She's very aware of this, and how certain people feel about her. To stay positive, happy, and train with the intensity she does, says a huge amount about her as a person.

I am absolutely biased, and typically, would not work with someone who had such a blemish, because I also endanger my companies reputation when I support athletes who have carried penalties such as Jessica's. I have to say, because of my personal connection and fondness for her, I have always fallen on the side of this situation as a tragedy rather than a cheat.

I'm wholeheartedly behind Jessica, and hope she crushes it in London, and first... Omaha. If that makes me naive, then so be it. In my mind, she's done, and will continue to do her time on this, as there will always be a segment that will claim she's still doing something wrong when she swims fast.

What I can say, is that our first day of filming started 40 minutes late because USADA showed up right as we were getting started. She went through a battery of tests, including blood draw... and then had to sit for 20 minutes with the officials. The testers are vigilant, and all know Jessica personally at this point. It's part of all these athletes routines, and you never know when it's going to happen.

Thanks for posting Tony. G