Fall-out continues for positive testers as Adidas suspend their deal with Tyson Gay
Gay’s training partner Jason Smyth ‘shocked’ as he ponders news ahead of upcoming IPC championships in Lyon
Asafa Powell (second from top) and Tyson Gay (third from top) in action in last year’s Olympic 100m final won by Usain Bolt (third from bottom). Photograph: getty images
The sudden fall from grace of two of the world’s fastest men continues as both Tyson Gay and Asafa Powell begin to feel the aftershocks of their doping revelations, while athletes with any association have hurriedly distanced themselves.
Among them is Irish Paralympics star Jason Smyth, who has spent the last four years training alongside Gay at his US base in Clermont, Florida, and only returned from his latest stint there last month: indeed Gay has often heaped praise on him in the past, last year describing Smyth as having a “better sprinting technique” than him.
“I just know as much information as everyone else on the matter, and I was absolutely shocked at what I read,” said Smyth, in an interview with the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) website.
“It’s hard to know what’s going on with anybody else. However, there is only one person in the world who can be certain about anything and that is you, yourself.
“At the moment I’m trying to not get distracted by it as we’re five days away from a World Championships and so I’m trying to focus on that.”
The visually-impaired Smyth, who won double sprint gold at both the Beijing and London Paralympics, is now targeting similar success at the IPC World Athletics Championships, which get underway in Lyon, France this weekend.
Yet inevitably, the Gay and Powell revelations – and their apparent mishaps at either the hands of some previously trusted person or a tainted food supplement – have forced athletes such as Smyth to defend their own records, and the training methods they employ.
“You can only speculate about others,” said Smyth, “but for me personally, I am 100 per cent sure about every supplement I take.
“I think the big thing is you don’t take anything for granted, I would not trust anybody without knowing for sure myself. That is why I can be confident in what I’m doing.”
Smyth was one of the athletes not invited back to the London Olympic Stadium for the Anniversary Games, on the weekend after next, where Usain Bolt is set to be the headline act in the 100 metres more likely to be marked by some conspicuous absentees.
The 30-year-old Gay may have broken the mould in holding his hands up and effectively admitting his guilt even before his B-sample is analysed – declaring on Sunday night that “I don’t have a sabotage story” and “will take whatever punishment I get like a man” – but he’s already paying a price for that as his long-term and lucrative shoe contract with Adidas was suspended yesterday .