A source familiar with Slaney's case told SI that her ratio was 10 to 1. But a number of factors can skew the ratio by causing a woman's epitestosterone level to change. In addition to Slaney's age (37 when she gave the sample), she was reportedly menstruating and taking birth-control pills—all of which might have raised her t/e ratio. In short, Slaney was cleared because USATF could not prove that her elevated ratio was the result of doping.
The next hurdle for Slaney is to persuade the IAAF's doping commission, which meets next month, of her innocence. She's also making a broader case to the U.S. Olympic Committee against the use of the t/e ratio in determining whether athletes have used testosterone. She's not the only one with doubts about the validity of that measurement. A source within USATF says that officials in that body have begun to question it as well.
One wonders whether Slaney's USATF exoneration marks the beginning of the end for testosterone testing and, more cynically, whether it gives women a green light to use the substance. Lambelet Coleman, herself a national-class half-miler in the 1980s, insists that testing is still viable. "We have no problem with the 6-to-1 ratio as the basis for suspicion," she says. "But [before determining guilt) you've got to do a thorough investigation, which didn't happen."
In 1990 Jose Lopez, a retired plumber from Geelong, Australia, was suffering from lung disease and needed a transplant to survive. At the time, lung transplants were most safely done in tandem with the heart, and Lopez received those organs from a young car-accident victim. His own healthy heart, in turn, went to Keith Webb, a farmer from the Tasmanian town of Bothwell, who had coronary disease.
On Oct. 5 Lopez, 53, and Webb, 54, will stand together at the starting line of the 5,000-meter walk at the World Transplant Games in Sydney, in which 1,200 participants from 51 countries will take part. Neither man is expected to win a medal, but it the two do wind up neck and neck near the end of the walk, don't expect Webb to bear down. "Without Lopez's heart," he says, "I wouldn't be alive."