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Jail-Bound Swimmer May Perform in Athens

April 10, 2004|Alan Abrahamson | Times Staff Writer

Synchronized swimmer Tammy Crow, the driver in a Northern California car crash last year that killed two people, is all but assured a spot on the U.S. Olympic team in Athens, officials announced Friday.

In an extensive review, the USOC's policy-making executive committee said it found no legal or ethical reason to keep Crow off the team. It considered the case in conference calls on Tuesday and Thursday.

"It is a relief," Crow said Friday. "I know it's a huge responsibility and I'm excited to show ... this country that I'm the right person for the job."

Crow, 27, who for years has trained in Santa Clara, was sentenced Jan. 23 to 90 days in the Tuolumne County jail after pleading no contest to two counts of misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter. She was the driver in a Feb. 16, 2003, crash near Yosemite National Park that killed her longtime boyfriend, Cody Tatro, 26, of Walnut Creek, Calif., and 12-year-old Brett Slinger of Danville, Calif.

Crow had been drinking hours before the accident. But there was no alcohol in her blood when she was tested and prosecutors said alcohol played no role in the accident. Crow sustained broken bones and took months to get back in shape but qualified for the U.S. team in mid-December.

Superior Court Judge Eleanor Provost said Crow did not have to report to jail until October. The Games begin Aug. 13. The postponement sparked debate about whether Crow's Olympic aspirations led to special treatment.

Brett Slinger's father, Mike, said he and his wife, Devon, don't believe Crow has taken responsibility or expressed remorse for the crash. Referring to the USOC's announcement, Mike Slinger said, "It doesn't surprise me because she's had her way since day one."

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