Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (WiredPRNews.com) — Jessica Hardy, the fallen Olympic swimmer, has started the process of appeal after her doping test came positive in the U.S. Olympic trials. She has been hopeful that she will be able to go to Beijing, said her lawyer. Her attorney, Howard Jacobs, said that she had tested positive for clenbuterol, a stimulant, after her second doping test at the trials on July 4th after her 100 meter freestyle. Her first test on July 1st and third one on July 6th were both negative.
Jacobs said that Hardy has denied any doping violation and that he has never seen such a testing pattern like this. He said that she did not know anything about clenbuterol when she was told that she had had a positive test.
Hardy, 21, qualified for the 100 meter breast stroke and 50 meter freestyle but failed the 100 freestyle, left the U.S. training camp in Palo Alto and came back to her home in Southern California. Jacobs said that this is hard for her after being so close to the Olympics but she has been coping with it.
A first-time doping offense may result in a ban for two years. Jacobs, who has been in a hearing, wants a decision as quickly as possible and said that the process of appeals will need to be accelerated because of the proximity of the games and a decision can be reached within time to let her complete it if she clears. The Beijing Olympics will begin on August 8, 2008.
The WADA officials (World Anti-Doping agency) and the USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency) have no comment on the case. Chuck Wielgus, the executive director of USA Swimming, said that USA Swimming has been notified of the anti-doping case which involves an athlete from the U.S. The USADA has been handling the matter and they are hopeful that it will be expeditiously resolved.
Wired Sports Reporter