Monday, July 28, 2008

Jessica Hardy Fails Test for Substance that Ensnared Trainer

U.S. swimmer Jessica Hardy tested positive for the banned stimulant clenbuterol last week and is in the process of expedited arbitration proceedings to see whether she can swim at the Olympics next month. Clenbuterol is a bronchodilator belonging to a class of drugs known as beta-2 agonists. It is similar to albuterol which is one medication that Dara Torres currently uses legally by having a therapeutic use exemption (TUE). Unlike albuterol, no TUE's are permitted for clenbuterol because clenbuterol and zilpaterol are considered anabolic agents.

Clenbuterol has also been mentioned here when Big Brown trainer, Rick Dutrow's horse, Salute the Count, tested positive for two times the allowable amount back in May. The drug is an approved medication in horse racing used primarily as a bronchial dilator, which increases lung capacity.

I'll float two possible scenarios to explain Hardy's positive test:

One, Hardy has asthma, a TUE and accidentally grabbed the "wrong" inhaler which led to the positive test on July 4th while tests on July 1st and 6th were negative.

Two, as Gary Hall Jr. said earlier that the sport was adopting "entertainment morals" perhaps Hardy could speculate that a teammate sabotaged her asthma medication with the banned stimulant. If that type of reality tv shenanigans occurred, that would draw more interest to the pool and provide a whodunit element ensuring everyone on the team received their 15 minutes of fame...Now that would be entertaining.

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