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BEIJING 2008

Hardy's test result was delayed

August 09, 2008|Lisa Dillman | Times Staff Writer

BEIJING -- The positive drug test of U.S. swimmer Jessica Hardy was delayed, officials said Friday, a miscue that probably deprived the team of a replacement.

The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency clarified why authorities, despite an expedited request, didn't notify Hardy of a July 4 positive test at UCLA for clenbuterol until July 21, the deadline for naming a replacement. That delay kept USA Swimming from replacing Hardy on its Olympic roster, spots that could have been filled by Tara Kirk and Lara Jackson.

The UCLA lab incorrectly logged the sample, failing to mark it expedited as requested, and the result later sat, unnoticed, in USADA's offices the weekend before July 21, Ron Judd of the Seattle Times reported Friday. The lab's director, Dr. Anthony Butch, acknowledged that in an interview with the Seattle Times, saying: "We dropped the ball, and we missed it. We clearly made the mistake."

A prepared statement Friday from USADA said, "Both USADA and USA Swimming anticipated that the requested expedited reporting could be fulfilled by the [UCLA] laboratory, understanding that it requires a delicate balance of good thorough science with the need to have results quickly to name teams.

"While under the circumstances it is regrettable that the laboratory was unable to meet the expedited time frame requested by USADA for every sample submitted, the vast majority of the samples from all Olympic Trials were analyzed within the schedule requested."

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