Swimmer Jessica Hardy after IOC ruling: London Calling?
Jessica Hardy’s long legal battle ended when it was determined that she will be eligible to compete for a spot in the 2012 Olympics in London. The Long Beach swimmer, who tested positive for a banned substance not long before Beijing Olympics, was informed by the IOC she would not be subject to Rule 45, also known as the six-month rule.
"I am ecstatic that the IOC has recognized my unique situation, and that the rule does not apply to me," Hardy said Thursday in a statement issued by her lawyer Howard Jacobs.
"With this final hurdle now behind me, I can now focus 100% of my efforts on preparing for and representing my country at next year’s Olympic Games, a lifelong dream that was taken away from me in 2008. I continue to be grateful for the numerous expressions of support I have received from teammates, competitors, and fans all over the world during this ordeal.”
Hardy had received a one-year suspension and that specific IOC rule could have kept her out of the London Games. That edict, put in place before the 2008 Olympics, prevents any athlete from competing in the next Olympics if the length of the suspension is more than six months.
Tribune colleague Philip Hersh offered his take on the IOC's show of common sense.
Hardy, perhaps, had the best take it all when she quoted Aristotle on her tweeter feed Thursday afternoon:
"Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet."
-- Lisa Dillman
Photo: Jessica Hardy smiles after winning the women's 50-meter freestyle final at the Pan Pacific Swimming Championships in Irvine on Aug. 21. Credit: Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press