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American Track and Field Star Tests Positive For Banned Substance

Tyson Gay
Getty Images

Over the last few years, the main focus of people against the use of performance-enhancing drugs or banned substances has been Major League Baseball and the National Football League. But this past weekend, we were re-introduced to one of the sports that used to be all the rage about performance-enhancing drugs back in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s – track and field.

During a phone conversation from the Netherlands on Sunday, American 100-meter record holder Tyson Gay revealed that he was notified of testing positive for a banned substance, leading to a decision that he will pull out of next month’s World Championships in Moscow. According to Gay, he was informed of the positive test result late last week by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, based on a sample from an out-of-competition test in May.

While fighting back tears during the emotional announcement, Gay said, “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 or it was on USADA’s hands, someone playing games. I don’t have any of those stories – I basically put my trust in someone and I was let down.” Gay was asked to specify who he was referring to in that quote, but refused to reveal the person’s identity.

Gay also wouldn’t go into specifics about what kind of banned substance he tested positive for, but did reveal the next steps in this process for him: “I have to go over everything with USADA first. I will take whatever punishment I get like a man. I do realize and respect what I put in my body and it is my responsibility.”

When approached for comment on the situation, USA Track & Field CEO Max Siegel released a statement saying, “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.”

Since the news broke yesterday, Adidas did release a statement this morning about their quick decision to suspend their sponsorship contract with Gay:

Adidas has a clear policy on doping and drug use each of the agreements with our athletes include a clear clause which states that the agreement shall be terminated by adidas if the athlete is found guilty of the possession or use of drugs or any other prohibited substance by the relevant governing sports body having jurisdiction over the athlete.

You may recall USADA from the Lance Armstrong drama that has unfolded in the last 12 months, as they were the lead organization that led to Armstrong’s numerous accolades over the last 10-15 years being stripped and his partnership with Nike and Livestrong coming to an end.

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