Sprinter Tyson Gay failed 'multiple' drug tests this year

Multiple positive tests are a sign of athlete not trying to hide anything, but unaware of taking a banned substance, says source

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 28 July, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 28 July, 2013, 5:26am


Sprinter Tyson Gay failed more than one drug test this year, recording one of his positives at the US championships in June, where he won the 100 and 200 metres.

Earlier this month, Gay revealed he had tested positive in an out-of-competition test he took on May 16.

Three people familiar with the case said Gay had multiple positives this year. One of those people said one positive came at the nationals and the US Anti-Doping Agency (Usada) has notified him of that result.

One person familiar with the case said that multiple positives over a short period of time were a sign of an athlete who was not trying to hide anything, but simply did not know he was taking a banned drug.

Gay's representatives did not immediately respond to attempts to reach them.

The sprinter has surrendered his spot at next month's world championships. If a positive test from the nationals is confirmed by his "B" sample, those results would be vacated, though it is likely they would be anyway because of his May 16 positive.

The May 16 test had been confirmed by a test of the "B" sample, one of the people familiar with the case said.

A first-time offence for doping usually incurs a two-year ban, though athletes who co-operate with Usada sometimes get reduced penalties. Gay is co-operating with the agency.

"The additional positive sample is consistent with him taking responsibility," Usada chief executive Travis Tygart said. "He should be commended for that and for removing himself from world championships, which we all should appreciate. The sample was expected, as he works with us for the fair resolution based on the rules, given the fact of his case."

When Gay admitted to the earlier positive nearly two weeks ago, he fought back tears. "I don't have a sabotage story. I don't have any lies. I don't have anything to say to make this seem like it was a mistake," he said. "I basically put my trust in someone and I was let down."

Since news of his positive, media reports have linked Gay to Clayton Gibson, an anti-ageing doctor based in Atlanta. Gibson would not confirm Gay was among his patients.

Gay has been the most-watched US male sprinter for the past several years and has long sold himself as a clean athlete.

The 30-year-old, who won the world championship in the 100, 200 and 4x100 relay in 2007, took part in Usada's "My Victory" programme - in which athletes volunteer for enhanced testing to prove they are clean - and his results never raised red flags.

Until, that is, the out-of-competition test in May. Results came back positive for a banned substance, the identity of which has not been revealed.

The latest news adds to a slew of negative headlines for athletics. Jamaican Olympic champion Veronica Campbell-Brown tested positive for a banned diuretic at a meet in May.

A month later, Asafa Powell, the former 100-metre world record holder, tested positive for a stimulant at Jamaica's national championships, as did his teammate, Sherone Simpson, a three-time Olympic medallist.

"I look forward to demonstrating to everyone that I am a clean athlete. I always have been, and I always will be," Powell said.

Gay, finally feeling healthy after years of nagging injuries, was among those expected to push Usain Bolt at the worlds next month, but instead of racing he will be resolving a doping case.