Vincent Hogan: How fast is too fast?
Published 04/08/2012 | 05:00
You couldn't help but think this week, as the world began to wrestle with swimming's latest unsolved puzzle, of a tiny, solitary tricolour waved from the Atlanta bleachers 16 years ago.
Michelle Smith's name was invoked many times on the pool-deck as some American amphibians flew into palsied agitation at the sight of Ye Shiwen smoking up the Olympic pool faster than a man. Questions, questions, questions. When gold medal winners climb out to polite applause, you know the Games are being tugged towards the inevitable pharmaceutical sideshow.
Back in '96, I was one of the Irish journalists who took Smith's side in a media civil war that, to this day, places an invisible moat between previously fraternal work colleagues.