OMAHA, Nebraska: Jessica Hardy put heartbreak behind her Saturday, seizing an unexpected 100m freestyle victory at the US Olympic trials to earn a trip to London four years after a drugs row kept her from Beijing.
Hardy owns the world record in the 100m breaststroke, but finished third in that event behind upset winner Breeja Larson and Rebecca Soni.
She bounced back with a personal best in the freestyle of 53.96sec. But Hardy’s Olympic trials and tribulations go back further than this week.
She had made the team for Beijing in the 100m breaststroke when she tested positive for a banned steroid.
She withdrew from the team, and eventually served a one-year suspension after a board of arbitrators agreed with her explanation that the banned substance was contained in a tainted supplement and she hadn’t intended to cheat.