Gary Hall Jr., three-time Olympic swimmer and 10-time Olympic medalist, in his Aug. 2, 2008 Los Angeles Times online sports article "A Few Choice Words for Athletes," wrote:

“Michael Johnson, a legend in the sport of track and field, will lose his gold medal along with other clean members of the relay.

Good. That may sound callous. Allow me to explain why this is the best move that the IOC [International Olympic Committee] could have made. It comes down to a word or two…

Accountability. Accountability is taking responsibility for your own actions. In sports, when you are a member of a team, accountability is something more. Athletes need to be accountable to their teammates…

Commitment is another word that takes on deeper meaning in sport. Commitment to the team is important. Commitment to clean sport is more important.

In this decision the IOC has done more to collar the cheats in sport than any anti-doping agency could hope to achieve. They sent a message to all clean athletes that doping will not be tolerated, and the people with the most to lose are the clean athletes, not the cheaters.

Cheaters only risk the truth being known. Clean athletes will have their dream ripped away from them for simply standing alongside a guilty teammate.

That’s cruel. Is it cruel enough for clean athletes to stand up and take action against dopers, teammate or not? Let’s hope so…

Teammates and coaches can put pressure on the dopers in a way that the anti-doping agency never will be able to. What a cheater might be able to conceal from the anti-doping agency, despite its best efforts, will be much more difficult to keep from coaches and teammates.”

Aug. 2, 2008