Swimmer Dara Torres is an. The possibility that a 41-year old mother can compete alongside the best elite swimmers in the world with a legitimate chance at winning a gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics is nothing short of . There is nothing – no news or revelation – that could diminish her achievements in my eyes.
Having said that, I am disappointed to see Dara Torres publicly assert her moral superiority over other athletes who use performance enhancing drugs. Torres comes across as disingenous if not hypocritical when she decries the lack of a conscience in other competitors who use performance enhancing drugs.
After all, Torres sought a diagnose of asthma approximately 18 months and petitioned WADA/IOC for aProventil (albuterol) and Symbicort (formoterol). But Torres still has a moral conscience, its just the other swimmers who do not (“ ,” August 6).
Unfortunately that’s just the way the world is today and it’s too bad that some athletes don’t have a conscience and think it’s OK to do that and think that if they win or do well that they did it the right way.
“So, for those of us who have a conscience, we know we’re doing it the right way and there’s nothing you can do.”
Obviously, the right way involves the use of performance enhancing drugs with a TUE. The “right way” also involves her use of the controversial, which has been likened to “ ,” during her comeback.
Dara Torres occupation of the moral high ground comes across as an affront to her former Olympic teammate clenbuterol, belongs to the same class of long-acting beta-2 adrenergic agonists (LABAs) as Torres’ albuterol and formoterol.. Hardy was kicked off the U.S. Swim Team and disqualified from the 2008 Beijing Olympics for using a drug that is very similar to the performance-enhancing drugs used by Torres. The culprit in Hardy’s case,
I have no problem with unhealthy athletes using performance enhancing drugs. But if we allow some athletes to use PEDs, we need to allow all athletes to use PEDs, including the healthy ones.
Torres’ use of LABAs represents the “right way” to use performance enhancing drugs. Hardy’s use of LABAs represents the “wrong way.” This is apparently a very important lesson in moral values to Torres.
Certainly, Dara Torres is following WADA/IOC rules. Her use of PEDs is sanctioned by WADA. Her use of the LZR Racer is sanctioned by WADA/FINA/IOC. But given the arbitrary and capricious nature of the WADA code, I hope Torres abandons her self-righteous stance and exercises restraint in passing moral judgments on her competitors.