“Olympic trial” has taken on a whole new meaning this spring, as legal issues redefine the parameters of competition. Consider:
• In San Francisco, the ongoing case against track coach Trevor Graham details the depth of steroid use. Last week, three Olympic gold medalists testified that Graham, charged with lying to federal investigators, helped them cheat their way onto the podium. The embarrassing trial further undermines track's image heading into Beijing.
• A swimsuit war erupted, with the TYR company filing a federal antitrust lawsuit against Speedo and USA Swimming, claiming both are trying to push American swimmers to Speedo despite contracts with other companies. Speedo's new LZR suit is creating concerns about unfair competition as swimmers in the suit have set 37 world records since it was unveiled in February.
• An international court ruled this month that sprinter and double-amputee Oscar Pistorius can compete in Beijing. Some believe the 21-year-old South African known as the “Blade Runner” gains an unfair advantage from his carbon-fiber prosthetics. (Pistorius has not yet qualified for the Games.)