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Document Type

Symposium

Abstract

According to the reporters who wanted to speak with LaTasha Jenkins, she was the first athlete in the seven-year history of the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) to win and clear herself of doping charges. USADA's record was now thirty-seven and one. Remarkably, the flawless record was beaten by a group of third year law students and their professor. But LaTasha did not want to speak with the reporters. To LaTasha, she had not won. She had been dragged through the mud, her career had been ended, and she was emotionally exhausted. Talking to reporters would only remind her of the damage done. She would never speak to reporters and quietly retire. The story of USADA v. Jenkins, and the failed appeal by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) that followed, is the story of a lucky win against a multi-headed foe that makes all the rules, then changes the rules when it loses, in a system nearly incapable of addressing the inherent imbalance of power between athletes and their accusers. The telling of LaTasha's story reveals the flaws of the Olympic Movement's anti-doping system and suggests steps to fix those flaws. However, her story also shows that those flaws will not be fixed unless the underlying imbalance of power between athletes and those who control sports is changed.