After a hearing on March 12th, where the World Anti-Doping Agency appealed that Jessica Hardy’s doping suspension was unjustly reduce from 1-year to 2-years. The basis of the suspension reduction was that Hardy was the victim of a supplement contaminated with Clenbuterol, a charge that the manufacturer denies.
The Court of Arbitraion for Sport denied WADA’s Appeal, releasing the following statement: “Jessica Hardy had shown good faith efforts before ingesting the food supplements at stake.
“The athlete had personal conversations with the manufacturer about the supplements’ purity prior to taking them, she obtained the supplements directly from the manufacturer, not from an unknown source; supplements she took were not labelled in a manner which might have raised suspicions.”
We won’t rehash all of the details of the case (those can be read in our previous articles here and here), but in short, Hardy tested positive for Clenbuterol at the 2008 Olympic Trials, and removed herself from the Beijing squad to save her team the distraction. Advocare, the producer of the Arginine Extreme supplement alleged to have been conatminated, contested that they went back and tested several supplements, none of which came back positive for Clenbuterol. Advocare was not allowed to testify in the original trial.
The International Olympic Committee has a rule that prevents athletes from competing in the next Olympics if they receive a doping ban in excess of 6-months. There is some question as to how this rule applies to Hardy, because she voluntarily withdrew from Beijing after the test while awaiting a hearing, rather than risking a posthumus ban once the hearing took place. The CAS declined to rule on the issue in this particular hearing, but it that this case will be probably brought up again prior to the 2012 Games.
Hardy, who has been repeatedly pounding on world breaststroke records since her return, is likely to qualify for the 2012 Games in at least the 100 breaststroke.