Former Texas Longhorn and 5-time Olympic medalist Ian Crocker is back in the USADA drug-testing pool, which is often the first indication of an athlete who is coming out of retirement.
In the 3rd quarter of 2011, Crocker underwent 4 USADA drug tests. The 3rd quarter was the last where athletes could re-enter the drug pool and be eligible in time for June’s Olympic Trials.
Crocker was a member of the American Olympic gold medalist 400 medley relay in three-straight Olympic Games from 2000 through 2008. We have not seen him swim in an official, USA Swimming (or FINA) sanctioned race since the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
In his previous career, Crocker held 5 different World Records at one point or another: the 100 fly (long course and short course), the 100 free (short course), and the 50 fly (long course and short course). He was also a two-time long course World Champion in the 100 fly (2003, 2005).
Crocker’s comeback has been murmured about since his former Texas teammate Brendan Hansen began a comeback earlier this year, but never seemed to gain much traction until now. Curiously, Aaron Peirsol (the 3rd leg of a trio that dominated the medley relay world for almost a decade) has never left the drug-testing pool despite insisting that he has no intention of a comeback.
All three men competed recently at the “Fastest Man in Texas” charity event to help raise money to pay for the cancer treatment of Josh Davis’ mother. At that meet, Crocker swam a 20.2 in the 50 yard free and a 21.4 in the 50 yard fly. In that 50 free, he touched just .04 seconds behind current Longhorn Dax Hill, which might have been a warning shot that Crocker was in better shape than he had initially let-on.
The last return that was alluded to by the USADA’s drug-testing statistics was Anthony Ervin, who did indeed compete in a few Masters meets in California earlier this year, but we have not seen any competition from him in a few months. He was not tested in the 3rd quarter of 2012.