As a guy who has been involved in swimming as an administrator, Olympic team manager, FINA Technical Swimming Committee member and former editor and publisher of Swimming World, I am amazed that U.S. Swimming's review board would impose only a two-year probation on Jessica Foschi for testing positive for mesterolone, an anabolic steroid on the FINA list of banned drugs.
Foschi's coach and parents say "she never knowingly took drugs." In the 1972 Olympic Games, Rick DeMont never knowingly took a banned drug, but his asthma medicine, Marex, contained a banned drug. DeMont had to return the Olympic gold medal he had won in the 400-meter freestyle (right), and he had to withdraw from the 1,500 free moments before that race.
In 1988 Angel Myers was kicked off the U.S. Olympic team after a positive drug test. She claimed the banned substance must have been in a birth control pill. When her two-year suspension ended, she resumed her career and, at the '92 Olympics, was the bronze medalist in the women's 50-meter freestyle and a gold medalist as a member of the U.S.'s world record 4x100 free relay team.
No one admits to knowingly taking a banned substance. Foschi must be given the two-year suspension. The aquatic world is watching.
ALBERT SCHOENFIELD, LOS OSOS, Calif.