The Spirit Of The Superpower
Aug 6, 2008
Craig Lord

Nothing it seems can crush the spirit of a superpower in the pool. And maybe that says much about why the USA is the aquatic superpower at the helm. Hardy's drug case, Shanteau's and Lohberg's cancer plight, an argument over why those who ought to have taken up Hardy's places had to stay at home. Instead of sending the Americans into a spiral, they have taken the news and tried to use it to make themselves stronger.

On Hardy, Jack Bauerle, US women's head coach said: 'It certainly wasn't good for anybody. It was a tough situation that our team has handled well.'

Natalie Coughlin, a friend of Tara Kirk's, chipped in: 'Fortunately, it was a few weeks ago, we've moved on, we're training well and focusing on the Games. It was unfortunate, it hit us as a team, pretty hard at first. It was shocking. I feel badly for everyone involved.'

While there was sadness in the US camp over the affair, Dara Torres said that the hardline on doping should never be dropped. In a tired voice, she said: 'I'm one of the few athletes who has gone beyond what we are supposed to do and asked to be tested differently. Some athletes don't have a conscience and they think it's ok to do that (cheat) and feel proud. For those of us that have a conscience, we know we're doing it the right way. We have to hope the testing will be good enough.&quote;