American 100-metre record holder Tyson Gay,who had promoted himself as a clean athlete,tested positive for a banned substance and said he will pull out of the world championships next month in Moscow.
Elsewhere on Sunday,former 100m world-record holder Asafa Powell and Jamaican teammate Sherone Simpson both tested positive for banned stimulants,according to their agent. Paul Doyle told The Associated Press on Sunday that they tested positive for the stimulant oxilofrine at the Jamaican championships and were just recently notified.
Powell helped the Jamaicans to the 400-meter relay gold medal at the 2008 Olympics and was the last man to hold the individual 100 record before countryman Usain Bolt broke it earlier that year. Simpson won Olympic gold in the womens 400 relay in 2004 and silver in 2012,along with an individual silver in the 100 in 2008.
Gay,who finished fourth in the London Olympics,wouldnt reveal the substance in a phone conversation from Amsterdam on Sunday,but he said he was notified by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) late last week that a sample came back positive from a May 16 out-of-competition test. He said he will have his B sample tested soon,possibly as early as this week.
I dont have a sabotage story. I dont have any lies. I dont have anything to say to make this seem like it was a mistake or it was on USADAs hands,someone playing games, said Gay,who fought back sobs as he spoke. I dont have any of those stories. I basically put my trust in someone and I was let down.
Asked who that person was,Gay replied: I cant really say it. Sometimes a human being naturally,generally trusts somebody. Thats what people do.
USATF CEO Max Siegel said in a statement: It is not the news anyone wanted to hear,at any time,about any athlete. We do not know the facts of this case and look to USADA to adjudicate it and handle it appropriately.
A triple world champion in 2007,Gay was healthy again this season after being constantly plagued by hamstring and groin ailments,along with a surgically repaired hip. He won the 100 and 200 at nationals last month,setting up an anticipated showdown with Usain Bolt at the worlds.
But thats been scrubbed. Gay,who has the fastest 100 time in the world this season,also said he will pull out of a meet in Monaco and fly back to the headquarters of USADA in Colorado Springs,Colorado,to be on hand when his B sample is tested.
The anti-doping organisation said in a statement it appreciates his approach to handling this situation and his choice to voluntarily remove himself from competition while the full facts surrounding his test are evaluated.
The B sample will be processed shortly, the statement went on,and as in all cases all athletes are innocent unless or until proven otherwise through the established legal process,and any attempt to sensationalize or speculate is a disservice to due process,fair play,and to those who love clean sport.
Gay,Powell and Sherone are the latest high-profile track athletes to make headlines for doping in the last few weeks. Jamaicas Veronica Campbell-Brown,the reigning 200-meter world champion and three-time Olympic gold medalist,was suspended by her national federation last month pending an investigation into a positive drug test. Jamaican officials said Campbell-Brown,the 2004 and 2008 Olympic champion in the 200,tested positive for a banned diuretic at a meet on the island in May.
Gay is good friends with Campbell-Brown and said at the time: Were all accountable for what goes in our system or what goes in our body. But at the same time,sometimes mistakes do happen.
A few years ago,Gay was part of USADAs program called My Victory,where athletes pledge to compete clean. In his testimonial on the website,Gay said,I compete clean because I really believe in fairness,and besides that,my mom would kill me! Just being honest.
Gay has spoken with his teammates,friends and family,including his mother and daughter. They already know it is some type of accident,or some type of — I dont want to use certain words,to make it seem like an accident,because I know exactly what went on,but I cant discuss it right now, he said. My career and my name have always been better than medals or records or anything like that. Ive always wanted a clean name with anything. Unfortunately,I have to break this news,that I have a positive A sample.
Gay wouldnt go into specifics about the case,saying he couldnt discuss it when asked if what he tested positive for was a steroid.
I have to go over everything with USADA first, said Gay,who finished fourth at the London Games last summer. I will take whatever punishment I get like a man. I do realise and respect what I put in my body and it is my responsibility.
Tainted: 2nd best,ex-WR holder,2004 Oly champ
Tyson Gay,30,along with Jamaican Yohan Blake,is the second fastest man over 100m after Usain Bolt with a time of 9.69s,recorded in Shanghai in September 2009.
Gay swept the sprint titles at the 2007 worlds in Osaka. He clocked 9.85s to win the 100 and 19.76s to win the 200m. He was also part of the gold medal winning 4×100 relay team.
Gay finished second behind Usain Bolt in the 100 at the 2009 Berlin worlds with a a time of 9.71s.
A year later,however,he beat Bolt at the DN Galan meet in Stockholm. It was then only the second time Bolt had been beaten in a 100 final.
Gay finished 4th in the 100 final at London 2012.
The 9.75 he ran to win last months U.S. world championship trials is the fastest time over 100 m this year. Also clocked 2013a second fastest 200 time after running 19.74s at the same meet.
Asafa Powell,30,held the 100m world record between June 2005 and May 2008,with times of 9.77 and 9.74 seconds. He holds the record for most sub-10 second times (88).
Although he has a gold in the 4x100m relay at Beijing in 2008,Powell however has never won an individual gold at the worlds or Olympics.
Sherone Simpson,28,won Olympic gold in the womens 400 relay in 2004 and silver in 2012,along with an individual silver in the 100 in 2008.