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Olympic swim team

Hardy withdraws from US swim team

Jessica Hardy, who won the women's 100-meter breaststroke at the trials, tested positive for a banned substance and won't go to the Olympics. Jessica Hardy, who won the women's 100-meter breaststroke at the trials, tested positive for a banned substance and won't go to the Olympics. (ARMANDO ARORIZO/BLOOMBERG)
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Associated Press / August 2, 2008

Swimmer Jessica Hardy withdrew from the US Olympic team yesterday, four weeks after testing positive for a banned substance at the national trials.

The US Anti-Doping Agency announced Hardy's decision, saying she did so "in the best interests of the team."

The 21-year-old from Long Beach, Calif., could have contested the results before the American Arbitration Association and potentially filed an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Hardy tested positive for a low level of clenbuterol, a prohibited anabolic agent, at the trials July 4.

Hardy did not contest the laboratory findings and was granted additional time by the arbitration panel to investigate possible causes of her positive test.

Hardy was tested three times at the trials in Omaha. The results were negative for the samples taken July 1, after she won the 100-meter breaststroke, and July 6, when she finished second to Dara Torres in the 50 freestyle.

McNeill given warning

Tim McNeill received a warning for getting a prescribed anti-inflammatory shot without the proper clearance from anti-doping authorities, the second gymnast in a month to be punished for that.

The USADA said McNeill tested positive May 24 at the US gymnastics championships for a glucocorticosteroid, a cortisone-like drug that is allowed only during competitions with an exemption. Olympian Morgan Hamm had a positive test for the same anti-inflammatory that day, and also drew a warning from the USADA.

Thanou expects to compete

Doping-tainted sprinter Katerina Thanou is determined to run at Beijing, saying lingering doubts about whether the International Olympic Committee will let her compete are unfair. Thanou, 33, served a two-year ban after missing a drug test before the 2004 Athens Olympics. She is now on the Greek track team after qualifying in the 100 meters. An IOC disciplinary committee is due to meet Thursday - the eve of the opening ceremonies - to decide whether she can participate. "There is no official charge against me, so why am I being asked if I want to take part in the Olympics even though I have qualified under the rules?" Thanou said at a news conference in Athens, speaking publicly for the first time since 2004. "I have been maligned and my career was damaged . . . Enough is enough. I have never tested positive for any [banned substance]." . . . Hundreds of consumers worldwide are believed to have been conned out of money, credit card information, and passport numbers by two online companies that promised to sell them tickets to the Olympics, the Los Angeles Times is reporting. The IOC and the US Olympic Committee won a restraining order July 23 in federal court in Phoenix that shut down www.beijing-tickets2008.com. On Monday, they plan to ask a judge in San Francisco for an order to shut down www.beijingticketing.com.

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