Asafa Powell and Tyson Gay both fail drug tests
Powell amongst five Jamaicans reported to have tested positive after national championships
Sprinter Tyson Gay has tested positive for a banned substance and has pulled out of next month’s World Championships. Photograph: Christian Petersen/Getty Images.
The world of athletics has been rocked after a number of high-profile sprinters admitted to having failed drug tests, including former world record holder Asafa Powell of Jamaica and American Tyson Gay.
Powell’s agent Paul Doyle confirmed that the former 100 metres world record holder had tested positive for a banned substance.
Powell, 30, has won gold medals in the 4x100m relay at the Olympics and World Championships and held the world record before his compatriot Usain Bolt.
Powell has run 9.88 seconds this year, but failed to make the Jamaican team for next month’s World Championships.
He is one of a reported five Jamaicans to have tested positive, but they do not include Bolt, who is in a different training group.
Bolt’s agent Ricky Simms said: “I was just with him in Jamaica and we’ve had no information and we’ve not been contacted by anyone. It is not anyone that I’m connected with.”
Powell ran his world record of 9.72sec in 2008 and has often failed to live up to expectations on the biggest stage.
Double sprint world champion Gay said on Sunday he had tested positive for a substance he could not identify and was pulling out of the World Championships in Moscow.
Gay, who had the year’s fastest 100 metres time of 9.75 seconds, told two reporters in a telephone conference call he was notified by the US Anti-Doping Agency (Usada) on Friday that his A sample from an out-of-competition test on May 16th had returned a positive.
“I don’t have a sabotage story. I don’t have lies...I basically put my trust in someone and I was let down,” said Gay, who added he had never knowingly taken a performance-enhancing drug.
“I made a mistake,” added the 30-year-old sprinter from his training base in Amsterdam.
“I am pulling out of Monaco (Diamond League meeting on Friday) and the world championships.”
Gay, the world 100 and 200 champion in 2007, said he could not divulge the substance or how the positive occurred.
“I am not allowed to talk about those things right now. I know exactly what went on, but I can’t discuss it right now,” he added.
“I hope I am able to run again,” Gay said. “But I will take whatever punishment I get like a man.”
Usada said in a statement: “In response to Mr Gay’s statements, Usada 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, and as in all cases all athletes are innocent unless or until proven otherwise through the established legal process, and any attempt to sensationalise or speculate is a disservice to due process, fair play, and to those who love clean sport.”