US swimmer Jessica Hardy’s trip to the Beijing Olympics could be in jeopardy after she tested positive for a banned substance.
Hardy’s “A” sample from the recent US Olympic trials tested positive, a person familiar with the test results said on Wednesday night. The person, who requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly, said the banned substance was a stimulant, but did not provide any other details.
Swimming World magazine’s Web site first reported the positive doping test.
Mark Schubert, head coach and general manager of the US team, and Dave Salo, Hardy’s personal coach at the University of Southern California, did not immediately return phone messages.
USA Swimming spokeswoman Jamie Olson declined to comment from the team’s training camp in Palo Alto, California. Hardy has departed camp and returned home to be with her family in Southern California, the swimmer’s agent said.
Agent Evan Morgenstein said that during a brief phone conversation with Hardy, she told him: “I never did anything wrong. I never cheated.”
Morgenstein said he has heard there were conflicting results from Hardy’s tests, though he did not have any details.
“I’m very, very concerned about the confusion of her test coming up positive-negative-positive,” Morgenstein said. “She’s the one person I would never believe would do anything — anything — to cheat. Ever.”
The Web site nbcolympics.com reported Hardy’s backup “B” sample also tested positive.
If so, the 21-year-old swimmer can pursue appeals with both the American Arbitration Association and the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). With the Olympics two weeks away, Hardy could appeal directly to CAS, although its ruling would be final and binding.
Typically, a first-time doping offense results in a two-year ban.