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Tyson Gay's Positive Test Likely Ends Olympian's Track Career

DES MOINES, IA - JUNE 23:  Tyson Gay reacts after winning the Men's 200 Meter Dash final on day four of the 2013 USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships at Drake Stadium on June 23, 2013 in Des Moines, Iowa.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistJuly 15, 2013

Tyson Gay has seen his career come to a crashing halt, and it does not seem as though he will have a chance to redeem himself.

According to ESPN, the American track and field competitor has tested positive for a banned substance. As a result, he pulled out of next month's world championships and he released this statement:

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.

While it is admirable that he admitted to the mistake, he still cheated to gain an advantage in his sport. No matter the circumstances, this is reprehensible.

Adidas has already gotten the message and has dropped the sprinter as a sponsor, according to BBC Sport. It would be surprising if he was able to gain another endorsement in the future.

What made this so disappointing was Gay's success prior to this failed drug test. Despite finishing in fourth place in the 100-meter dash at the London Olympics, he was part of the silver medal-winning 4x100 relay at the event.

Additionally, he was the 2007 world champion in the 100-meter dash, which is the sport's most prestigious event. His best time of 9.69 in the event has only been bested by one person in history: six-time Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt. 

Unfortunately, this latest issue is likely to put him out of commission before he has a chance to win any more races.

It is unknown what actions will be taken against Gay by the United States Anti-Doping Agency. A relevant example is teammate Justin Gatlin, who served a four-year ban for his failed test. Fortunately for Gatlin, however, he was still in his mid-20s at the time and had a chance to return to the sport.

At 30 years old, Gay will not have that luxury. It has been 20 years since anyone over 30 was able to win either the world championship or an Olympic gold medal in the 100-meter dash. It will be even tougher for this to happen going forward.

There are simply too many fast young competitors coming through the ranks for an aging runner to keep posting low numbers without the aid of performance-enhancing drugs.

It is now clear that Gay used these types of drugs to help him, something that will not be available a second time around if he does attempt to come back.

Depending on the reaction from the USADA, the star could be out of commission for a few years, which would immediately end his career. There is little chance he would even try to race after he approaches his mid-30s.

The problem is that even if he is able to race again, Gay may struggle to compete at a top level with age catching up to him.

These two options show that the once-great career is likely now over.

 

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