Track stars Gay, Powell test positive for banned substances
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American 100-meter record holder Tyson Gay, who had promoted himself as a clean athlete, tested positive for a banned substance and said he will pull out of the world championships next month in Moscow.
Also Sunday, former 100-meter world-record holder Asafa Powell and Jamaican teammate Sherone Simpson tested positive for banned stimulants, their agent told the Associated Press.
Gay wouldn't reveal the substance Sunday but said he was notified by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency late last week that a sample came back positive from a May 16 out-of-competition test. He said he will have his “B” sample tested soon, possibly as early as this week.
“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,” said Gay, who fought back sobs as he spoke. “I don't have any of those stories. I basically put my trust in someone, and I was let down.”
Asked who that person was, Gay replied: “I can't really say it. Sometimes, a human being naturally, generally trusts somebody. That's what people do.”
A triple world champion in 2007, Gay was healthy again this season after being constantly plagued by hamstring and groin ailments along with a surgically repaired hip. He won the 100 and 200 at nationals last month, setting up an anticipated showdown with Jamaica's Usain Bolt at worlds.
But that's been scrubbed. Gay, who has the fastest 100 time in the world this season, also said he will pull out of a meet in Monaco and fly back to the headquarters of USADA in Colorado Springs, Colo., to be on hand when his “B” sample is tested.
Powell and Simpson tested positive for the stimulant oxilofrine at the Jamaican championships last month and were just recently notified, their agent, Paul Doyle, said. Their provisional ban is effective immediately.
Powell helped the Jamaicans to the 400-meter relay gold medal at the 2008 Olympics and was the last man to hold the individual 100 record before Bolt broke it earlier that year.
Simpson won Olympic gold in the women's 400 relay in 2004 and silver in '12, along with an individual silver in the 100 in '08.
“They're devastated,” Doyle said. “I'm optimistic that Asafa's and Sherone's names will be cleared. It is a stimulant ban, which I hate to call any infraction minor — any positive test is major, in my opinion — but at the same time, it was something that was inadvertent. Hopefully, through our investigation and all that, we'll be able to show it was unintentional.”
Gay, Powell and Simpson are among several high-profile track athletes to makes headlines for doping in the past few weeks.
Jamaica's Veronica Campbell-Brown, the reigning 200-meter world champion and three-time Olympic gold medalist, was suspended by her national federation last month pending an investigation into a positive drug test. Jamaican officials said Campbell-Brown, the 2004 and '08 Olympic champion in the 200, tested positive for a banned diuretic in May at a meet on the island.
Gay is good friends with Campbell-Brown and said at the time: “We're all accountable for what goes in our system or what goes in our body. But at the same time, sometimes mistakes do happen.”
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