Willenbring was just 17 years old. Allegations of child doping, as heard at the Beijing Olympics this week, there were not.
Instead, all four swimmers were cleared, again only on the balance of probabilities, of intentional drug use.
This spate of positives, down in Texas, serves as a reminder just how differently doping cases are treated depending on whether an athlete is from East or West. There has been international uproar, albeit understandably, over the Kamila Valieva case at Beijing 2022.
At Rio 2016, the Russian Swimmer Yuliya Efimova was branded a drugs cheat by America’s Lily King despite Efimova’s own 2013 doping case, like Cox, actually “officially” also being a case of inadvertent use.
King’s condemnation was made all the more ironic by the fact that Efimova was US-based and that her coach Dave Salo, at the University of Southern California, has seen seven of his swimmers fail doping tests (Kicker Vencill, Jessica Hardy, Mads Glaesner, Omar Pinzon, Ous Mellouli, Nikita Lobintsev and Efimova).