After months of relative calm in U.S. track and field -- and encouraging performances heading into the world championships next month in Moscow -- the sport was dealt a setback Sunday when sprinter Tyson Gay, who has the world's fastest time this year in the 100 meters, admitted that an A sample of one of his drug tests had come back positive.
Reached by the Associated Press, Gay tearfully eschewed a "sabotage story" and refused to proffer one of the alibis that have become almost commonplace. Instead, after acknowledging that his A sample tested positive, he said, "I don't have any lies. I don't have anything to say to make this seem like it was a mistake." (Gay's B sample hasn't been tested yet.)
SI has learned that Gay has been treated by Atlanta chiropractor and anti-aging specialist Clayton Gibson. In the sports world, the term "anti-aging" has often come to signify therapy that uses hormones -- usually testosterone and HGH -- and testosterone precursors, like DHEA. DHEA can be obtained over the counter and is permitted in certain sports, including baseball, but not those contested in the Olympics.
Gay, who has withdrawn from the world championships, did not respond to multiple requests for comment from SI, and one of his agents told SI that his client would have no further statements at this time.
Reached by phone, Gibson told SI that he began working with Gay before the Olympic trials last year, and that he had no information beyond that Gay had been informed of a positive test. "We had [Gay's] blood tested and everything before the trials just as an evaluation and taking a history to learn about the patient," said Gibson.
Asked whether he provided Gay with a product containing a substance -- such as DHEA or testosterone -- that is banned in track and field, Gibson declined to comment "until I talk with Tyson." Gibson did say that, "what I have is all food-based products and herbals as well as homeopathic products. That's the only thing we have in our office. We don't have anything synthetic." DHEA and testosterone often come in creams containing substances banned in track and field. Asked if he makes creams that might contain substances banned in track, Gibson said he was not sure and that, "I don't make creams," but added, "We have labs that make those."
Gibson said that he did not know exactly what Gay was taking. "Until I look at his files, I wouldn't be able to know exactly what he was given," he said. "And I have to have a release to give out his information."
Gibson said that Gay had been referred to him by former U.S. sprinter Jon Drummond, who once coached Gay and was the Team USA relay coach at the 2012 Olympics. Gay was a member of the 4x100-meter relay team in London. Drummond denied in a text message to SI that he referred Gay to Gibson, but said he met the doctor with Gay last year. "I had heard good reports about [Gibson] from various athletes, so I hoped to engage in some due diligence with respect to his practice, just as I have done with many medical providers over the years ... I did not recommend that Tyson enter a relationship with him, long-term or otherwise. I have not worked with Tyson since September 2012 and have no knowledge as to what relationships he may have entered during that period."
Gibson said that, in addition to being a chiropractor, he has a "board certification in anti-aging, regenerative and functional medicine," through the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine. (Anti-aging is not a specialty recognized by the American Medical Association.)
Gibson did not want to talk about specific patients, but he said that he also works with other pro athletes. In a 2011 interview with ESPN, safety Ed Reed, then of the Ravens and now of the Texans, said that he and other players worked in the offseason with "Dr. Clayton Gibson and his anti-aging program in Miami every day for four hours. We do acupuncture, chiropractic work, foot detoxes." (Through the Texans, Reed declined to comment about Gibson.)
With respect to the blood testing he conducted on Gay, Gibson said it was used to give a baseline so that he could "use herbs, vitamins, and minerals for balancing the overall body, where there are deficiencies based off of lab work."
By Tuesday, Gibson would no longer speak directly with SI and had retained attorney Mark Trigg because "of the comments that are being made publicly," Trigg said.
Gibson repeatedly emphasized that, "I don't carry anything that's not food-based." But when asked directly if he was saying that he does not refer patients to products containing testosterone, DHEA, or other products often used by anti-aging specialists and that are banned in track and field, he replied: "No, I'm not telling you that. It all depends."