Six-time Olympic gold medalist sprinter Usain Bolt criticized the shortened suspension given to American sprinter Tyson Gay, saying it sends a "bad message to the sport," according to The Guardian.
Gay was suspended in May by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency after testing positive last summer for several banned substances resulting from his use of creams given to him by an Atlanta chiropractor. But because Gay heavily cooperated with the USADA investigation, he was suspended for just one year instead of the normal two years, a ban upheld by the World Anti-Doping Agency and the IAAF, track and field's world governing body.
Bolt said he disagreed with the decision, arguing it sends the message that cheating can be partially forgiven. He contrasted Gay's sentence with the 18-month suspension given to fellow Jamaican sprinter Asafa Powell, who tested positive for inadvertent use of a banned stimulant. (Asafa's suspension was later reduced after he appealed to the Court of Arbitration of Sport.)
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“I don’t think that’s the right way to go because you are pretty much telling people that this is a way out, it’s a way of beating the system, so personally, I don’t think the IAAF dealt with that very well,” Bolt said.
Because he stopped competing after failing his drug test, Gay was eligible to return in June. In his return, Gay finished second in a race in Switzerland on July 3. He won his next competition in Paris on July 7.
- Ben Estes