Tyson Gay Suspended for 1 Year Following Failed Drug Test

Steven CookFeatured Columnist IVMay 2, 2014

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

Updates from Friday, May 23

According to a report from the Associated Press, Gay is being sued by his former coach for defamation: 

Track coach Jon Drummond says he's facing a lifetime ban over doping charges from the same organization that pursued Lance Armstrong.

Drummond made the statements in a lawsuit he filed this week against the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency and Tyson Gay, the former sprint champion serving a one-year suspension for using a banned substance.

Drummond, a former Olympic sprinter, accuses USADA and Gay of defamation by suggesting that he encouraged Gay to use creams with banned substances or human growth hormone. Drummond said he tried to throw out potentially banned supplements and accused Gay of lying to investigators to win a lighter suspension.

Original Text

U.S. Olympic sprinter Tyson Gay has been suspended for one year resulting from a positive test for a banned substance, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency announced Friday afternoon.

The USADA reported Gay's failed test happened on June 23, 2013, which is when his one-year suspension started. The agency added:

Gay has also been disqualified from all competitive results obtained on and subsequent to July 15, 2012, the date he first used a product that contained a prohibited substance, including the forfeiture of all medals, points, and prizes. Gay has already returned his Silver Medal in the men’s 4x100m relay from the 2012 London Olympic Games, which is now in the possession of the United States Olympic Committee.

Pro Publica's David Epstein has more on the circumstances:

According to USADA CEO Travis T. Tygart, Gay has been fully cooperative: "We appreciate Tyson doing the right thing by immediately withdrawing from competition once he was notified, accepting responsibility for his decisions, and fully and truthfully cooperating with us in our ongoing investigation into the circumstances surrounding his case."

BBC's Tom Fordyce had his thoughts on the suspension:

This isn't the first time the American sprinter has popped up on USADA's radar for failing a drug test. Gay pulled out of the 2013 world championships after it was revealed that a test from May 16, 2013, also rendered a failing result, per The Associated Press' Pat Graham via U.S. News.

Gay said at the time, per Graham: "I don't have a sabotage story. ... I basically put my trust in someone and was let down."

The 31-year-old is most well-known in the sport for his personal best time of 9.69 seconds in the 100-meter race, which ties him as the second-fastest man ever behind Usain Bolt. 

Gay's reputation was marred last summer with the first announcement of his failed test, but that instance wasn't in preparation for the Olympic Games. The fact that this report states he began use of this alleged product 12 days before the London Games kicked off is telling.

His silver in the 4x100-meer relay was the first medal of Gay's career after his unsuccessful go in the 2008 Beijing Games, but he wasn't able to hold onto it for more than two years thanks to Friday's announcement.

Gay turns 32 in August, and it's likely that his days of being one of the world's best sprinters are behind him. It will be worth following to see where his career takes him after this fall from the spotlight.