Sprinters Gay and Powell Test Positive for Banned SubstancesErik Matuszewski
Tyson Gay and Asafa Powell, respectively the fastest and third-fastest men in the world this year, won’t run in next month’s track and field world championships after testing positive for banned substances.
Gay, who has the fastest 100-meter time of 2013 at 9.75 seconds, told the Associated Press yesterday that one of his samples from an out-of-competition test in May came back positive for an undisclosed substance. Powell, the former world record-holder at the distance, said in a statement that he’s started an investigation to determine why he tested positive for a banned stimulant during last month’s Jamaican championships.
The United States Anti-Doping Agency said in an e-mailed statement that Gay’s secondary sample will be processed shortly and applauded his choice to “voluntarily remove himself from competition while the full facts surrounding his test are evaluated.” The world championships in Moscow run Aug. 10-18.
The 30-year-old Gay, the American 100-meter record holder, said he was let down after putting his trust in an unnamed person, according to the AP.
“I don’t have a sabotage story,” Gay was cited as saying by the AP. “I don’t have any lies. I don’t have anything to say to make this seem like it was a mistake or it was on USADA’s hands, someone playing games.”
Gay won the 100-meter and 200-meter titles at the U.S. National Outdoor Championships last month and was set to challenge world record-holder and two-time Olympic champion Usain Bolt in Moscow.
Powell, the last man to hold the individual 100-meter record before fellow Jamaican Bolt broke it, said that a sample he gave at the national trials returned “adverse findings,” though he said he’s never knowingly taken any illegal supplements or substances. Powell said his team is cooperating with relevant sports agencies and law enforcement authorities to discover how the substance got in his system.
“This result has left me completely devastated in many respects,” Powell said in the statement. “My fault here however is not cheating but instead not being more vigilant. I want to reiterate that in my entire career as an athlete I have never sought to enhance my performance with any substance. It is not a part of who I am or what I believe in.”
Powell, 30, added that he accepts the consequences of the finding, which includes missing the world championships.
Powell most recently held the 100-meter world record in 2008, when he won an Olympic gold medal with Jamaica’s 400-meter relay team. He suffered a groin injury during the 100-meter final at the 2012 London Games.
Fellow Jamaican sprinter Sherone Simpson also said yesterday she tested positive for oxilofrine, the same stimulant as Powell, at last month’s national championships. Simpson, who won an Olympic silver medal in the women’s 400-meter relay last year, said in a statement that she wouldn’t intentionally take an illegal substance.
“My team and I will try to do everything we can to get this issue dealt with as best as we can,” Simpson said.
Jamaica’s Veronica Campbell-Brown, a two-time Olympic 200-meter champion, last month accepted a provisional suspension from competition following a positive test for a banned diuretic. Campbell-Brown’s management company said the accusation she’d committed a doping offense was a “shock to her” and that she’ll fight to clear her name.