September 18, 2020

Dara Torres Takes Moral High Ground Despite Use of Performance Enhancing Drugs

Swimmer Dara Torres is an extraordinary athlete. The possibility that a 41-year old mother can compete alongside the best elite swimmers in the world with a legitimate chance at winning a gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics is nothing short of phenomenal. There is nothing – no news or revelation – that could diminish her achievements in my eyes.

Having said that, I am disappointed to see Dara Torres publicly assert her moral superiority over other athletes who use performance enhancing drugs. Torres comes across as disingenous if not hypocritical when she decries the lack of a conscience in other competitors who use performance enhancing drugs.

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Did Jessica Hardy’s Advocare Supplements Contain Clenbuterol?

Swimmer Jessica Hardy has withdrawn from the United States Olympic Team bound for the 2008 Beijing Olympics after testing positive for low levels of the long-acting beta-2 adrenergic agonist (LABA) clenbuterol. Hardy maintains that she never knowingly or unintentionally consumed clenbuterol or any other banned susbtance.

The question of why and how clenbuterol appeared in Jessica Hardy’s sample remains a mystery. Was Hardy simply caught doping? Or were the “dietary supplements” used by Hardy contaminated or spiked with the banned substance clenbuterol? The supplement company Advocare was cited as one of the brands of dietary supplements used by Jessica Hardy. [Read more…]

Jessica Hardy’s Clenbuterol Positive and Unfair Media Coverage

I am disappointed by the mainstream media coverage of Olympic swimmer Jessica Hardy’s failed drug test for clenbuterol (an asthma medication).

NBC was apparently the first news organization to identify the banned substance as clenbuterol. They did not elaborate on the drug other than to identify it as a “stimulant” which was of course very misleading.

Clenbuterol was not identified as an asthma medication. It was not revealed that numerous other Olympic swimmers are permitted to use similar asthma drugs as long as they have a therapeutic use exemption (TUE). In all fairness to Jessica Hardy, this information should be provided at the outset to provide the appropriate context for any story about her positive test.

Washington Post Staff Writer Amy Shipley regularly writes about doping in sports, so I was very disappointed that Shipley failed to specifically identify clenbuterol as an asthma medication. She did not mention that other Olympic swimmers are allowed to use similar asthma drugs. In fact, there was not a single instance of the word ‘asthma’ in her 600+ word article.  [Read more…]