According to Dara Torres' Twitter page, she was subjected to an unannounced drug test by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) yesterday. In her words, “Nothing like getn ready 2 jump in the pool and USADA (drug testing) shows up! Tried to hold it all practice, got 3/4 of the way!!”
At least we know USADA is doing their job and are apparently making unannounced visits to athletes out of competition. If Torres is still taking her medications, the test will come back positive, but she has a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) for asthma, so it’s all good. Athletes without the TUE would come up positive and be subject the sport’s governing body regarding violation of their doping rules.
For Torres to be all bubbly about testing seems a bit insincere. An examination of the facts reveals that she was diagnosed with asthma a little over two years ago. She spends over $100,000 on support for her training and supervision of her child, benefits that younger swimmers do not have. Again, it begs the question, someone with the financial wherewithal to see the best doctors and trainers being diagnosed with asthma at 39 seems strange. After being the recipient of the TUE, she then goes on to post times that were faster than when she swam 20 years ago. We have learned that some of the explanation comes from changes in swimsuit design, but using drugs that would have a teammate suspended does not seem that noble. If she was experiencing significant health problems without taking the prohibited substance, how come this issue was not discovered at an earlier time?
While it’s a great story that she was able to come back and break records, a closer look reveals some questionable actions taken on her part to achieve those results.