Gay’s Ban Sends ‘Bad Message To Sport’, Says Bolt

Usain Bolt, who became the first man in Olympic history to win both the 100-meter and 200-meter races in 2008 in world record times, says he believes a “bad message to the sport” has been sent by anti-doping officials. Bolt was referring to the reduced one-year ban imposed on US sprinter Tyson Gay following a positive test for an anabolic steroid.

Usain Bolt Tyson Gay

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the IAAF, track and field’s world governing body, have accepted the controversial ban.

Bolt remarked he is not really happy with the situation and with how it was done. The Jamaican sprinter said he thinks for someone like Asafa Powell to get a ban of 18 months for stimulant Oxilofrine and then Tyson Gay get just one year because of cooperating. The athlete remarked he thinks it is sending a bad message into the sport that you can dope but, if you cooperate with us, we’ll reduce the sentence. Bolt further added he does not that is the right way to go because you are pretty much telling people that this is a way out, it’s a way of beating the system, so personally, he doesn’t think the IAAF dealt with that very well.

Athletes usually receive a doping ban of two years for their first major doping offence but the sanction can be reduced for substantial cooperation under anti-doping rules. The United States Anti-Doping Agency remarked Gay was eligible for such a reduction as he offered what it termed “substantial assistance” in his case.

Gay returned to competition on 3 July and ran 9.93 in the 100 meters at the Lausanne Diamond League meeting after serving the sanction imposed by the United States Anti-Doping Agency that ended in June this year.

On May 2, USADA announced that Gay tested positive for a prohibited substance and accepted a loss of results dating back to July 15, 2012 and a one-year suspension for his anti-doping rule violation. The 31-year-old tested positive for the presence of an exogenous androgenic anabolic steroid and/or its metabolites which was confirmed by CIR (GC/C/IRMS) analysis, as the result of two out-of-competition and one in-competition urine samples collected by both USADA and the International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF).

The athlete decided to voluntarily remove himself from all competition prior to the 2013 World Championships upon receiving notification of his positive tests from USADA. USADA CEO Travis T. Tygart had remarked we appreciate Tyson doing the right thing by immediately withdrawing from competition once he was notified, accepting responsibility for his decisions, and fully and truthfully cooperating with us in our ongoing investigation into the circumstances surrounding his case. The US sprinter was eligible for up to a three-quarter reduction of the otherwise applicable two-year sanction under the Code (or a six-month suspension). He accepted a one-year period of ineligibility which began on June 23, 2013, the day his sample was collected at the USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships.

Gay has already returned his Silver Medal in the men’s 4x100m relay from the 2012 London Olympic Games, which is now in the possession of the United States Olympic Committee.


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