Track Coach Gets 8-Year Doping Suspension

Jon Drummond, American sprinter Tyson Gay’s former coach, has been banned for eight years for doping violations, according to an announcement by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).

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On its website, USADA disclosed that an independent arbitration panel found Drummond guilty of possessing, trafficking, and administering performance-enhancing substances to an athlete under his care as a coach. A three-member panel of the American Arbitration Association North American Court of Arbitration for Sport (AAA) banned Drummond for a period of eight years.

A 23-page summary of the case revealed details of the trip Gay and Drummond took to meet Dr. Clayton Gibson in Atlanta in June 2012. Tyson Gay had surgery in his ailing right hip in 2011 and could not run pain-free. According to Drummond's testimony, he and Gay were shown creams at Gibson's office, the labels on which said "Testosterone/DHEA," ''HGH" and "Progesterone Cream." It was further revealed that Gibson gave assurance to Gay and Drummond that the creams were all natural despite the labeling and there was no way an athlete could test positive by using the products. In preparation to travel to Europe for the pre-Olympic circuit, John Drummond removed the product labels and marked them with a simple "H" for Human growth hormone and "T" for Testosterone. Gay and Drummond debated using the substances all the white and Gay tested positive eventually. Gay returned the silver medal he won on the U.S. Olympic relay team and his potential two-year ban was reduced to one year for his cooperation with USADA.

USADA CEO Travis T. Tygart remarked coaches have an inherent responsibility to protect athletes- not take advantage of them- but to ensure that they receive the support, training and advice they need to win fairly and in accordance with the rules. The 46-year-old Drummond is the recent Chairman of the USA Track & Field Athletes Advisory Council. He, as an Olympian and a former world record holder, was entrusted to guide athletes, Tygart said. The USADA chief added the AAA panel following a two-day evidentiary hearing found that Drummond failed to act in the manner expected of a coach of athletes in the Olympic Movement instead of using his position of power and influence to protect athletes. Tygart also added a coach cannot lead an athlete to into the danger of using prohibited substances and added a coach must be a watchdog when it comes to prohibited substances.

The eight year period of ineligibility of Drummond started on December 17, 2014, the date of the arbitration decision. The sanction imposed on him prohibits him from coaching, training or advising athletes and participating or coaching at any event sanctioned by USA Track & Field, the International Association of Athletics Federations or any other WADA Code signatory, which includes the U.S. Olympic, Pan American Games or Paralympic Games Trials, being a member of any U.S. Olympic, Pan American Games or Paralympic Team and having access to the training facilities of the USOC Training Centres or other programs and activities of the USOC including, but not limited to benefits, grants, awards or employment.

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