Doping scandal grips athletics…Sprint stars Gay, Powell and Simpson test POSITIVE for banned substances
Daily Mail – American sprint star Tyson Gay and Jamaicans Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson have each tested positive for banned substances.
Gay, the fastest man in the world this year, has pulled out of the World Championships in Moscow next month in the wake of the positive test.
After the news broke earlier on Sunday of Gay’s failed drugs test, it was confirmed that former world record holder Powell and countrywoman Simpson also failed a drugs tests.
Powell’s agent Paul Doyle confirmed in an email to Press Association Sport that the former 100 metres world record holder had tested positive for a banned substance. Powell, 30, has won gold medals in the 4x100m relay at the Olympics and World Championships and held the world record before his compatriot Usain Bolt.
Gay, the American record-holder, has told news agencies he was notified by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency on Friday that a sample came back positive from an out-of-competition drugs test on May 16.
Gay, also 30, says he will have his ‘B’ sample tested to verify the findings, but has already admitted his guilt. Speaking from Amsterdam, the sprinter told AP: ‘I don’t have a sabotage story. … I basically put my trust in someone and was let down.’
The positive test will send shock waves around the world of track and field, given Gay has run the three quickest 100m times of 2013 and was expected to be a genuine challenger to Usain Bolt in Moscow.
A statement from USA Track & Field read: ‘USA Track & Field is strongly opposed to doping, and we respect the work that USADA has done as a leading agency globally in the fight against drugs in sport.
‘We do not know the facts of this case and look to USADA to adjudicate it and handle it appropriately. It is not the news anyone wanted to hear, at any time, about any athlete. As we approach the World Championships, we will remain focused on the competition at hand and winning the right way.’
Gay has been involved in the fight against doping, having participated in a US anti-doping programme called ‘Project Believe’, for which he submitted voluntarily to extra testing.
The 30-year-old, whose 9.69seconds clocked in 2009 is second only to Bolt in the all-time rankings, won the sprint double at the 2007 World Championships in Osaka, but has been plagued by injury problems in recent seasons.
He has been back to full fitness this year, though, and leads the rankings with 9.75secs. Indeed, he has run the three fastest times of the year, with Bolt’s best 9.94s.
The news, should it be confirmed, would be a hammer blow to the credibility of the sport, with Gay one of its biggest names.
Shortly after the reports about Gay emerged, the Jamaican Gleaner newspaper reported several positive drug tests from the country.
Bolt’s agent Ricky Simms confirmed, though, that the Olympic champion was not among them.
He said: ‘I was just with him in Jamaica and we’ve had no information and we’ve not been contacted by anyone. It is not anyone that I’m connected with.’
Powell’s fellow Jamaican, Simpson, also tested positive for a banned stimulant.
‘This is a very difficult time for me,’ Simpson said in a statement to Reuters. ‘I was notified on July 14, 2013 that my urine sample taken at the National Senior Championship, June 21, 2013 after the 100m finals returned a positive analytical finding for a stimulant, oxilofrine (methylsynephrine).’
Paul Doyle, who is the agent for both Jamaican sprinters, confirmed that the pair tested positive for the stimulant oxilofrine at the Jamaican championships and were just recently notified.
Meanwhile, MVP Track Club stars Sherone Simpson and Asafa Powell have released statements confirming that they have tested positive for a banned substance.
In their statements both athletes said the substance – a stimulant called oxilofrine (methylsynephrine) – was found in their samples taken at the National Trials in Kingston in June.
“This is a very difficult time for me,” said Simpson, a 2004 Olympic relay gold medallist.
Meanwhile, Powell, a member of Jamaica’s Beijing Olympics gold-medal-winning relay team said he was surprised at the finding. “This result has left me completely devastated in many respects,” he said.