February 18, 2008

Dara Torres

In the article "A quest to prove she's clean," Dara Torres talks about the impossible situation in which she finds herself. At 40 years old, after having a baby, after being in the Olympics four times (and sitting out one), she remains one of the best swimmers in the world.

Then came last summer's breakthrough meet in Monte Carlo, then the USA Swimming National Championships in Indiana, where she broke the U.S. mark in the 50 free, blazing the pool in 24.53 seconds, nearly a second-and-a-half faster than the first time she set the U.S. record back in 1983.

After the broken record, Torres and Lohberg agreed to meet head-on the inevitable steroid questions that would follow. She met with Travis Tygart, the CEO of the United States Anti-Doping Agency.

"I don't know what programs you have or what you do, but I want to be an open book," Torres recalled telling him. "You can DNA-test me, blood-test me, urine-test me, whatever you want to do. I'm here, you can do it."

She reminds me a bit of Lance Armstrong -- a truly extraordinary athlete hiding in plain sight among the dopers.

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