Colorado Springs – US sprint star Tyson Gay's one-year doping ban has been welcomed by the International Olympic Committee.
Gay received the ban from the US Anti-Doping Association (Usada) on Friday and returned his 2012 London Olympics silver medal to the US Olympic Committee.
USADA announced that the 31-year-old American had tested positive for a banned anabolic steroid in two random out-of-competition tests and one event doping test in urine samples taken last year by both Usada and the world governing body IAAF
An IOC statement on Saturday said: “The IOC welcomes the decision taken by Usada following the confession of Tyson Gay. We note the athlete accepted responsibility for his actions and returned the medal from the London Olympic Games.
“The IOC supports clean athletes and defends the integrity of sport against those who cheat.”
Gay accepted a one-year period of ineligibility that began on June 23 of last year, the day his sample was collected at the US Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
Because the random test positives were collected near the date of the meet, they were treated as one violation.
While the suspension timing means that Gay can return to competition next month, he will do so too late to take part in Diamond League meets at New York or Eugene, Oregon, or qualify for the US Track and Field Championships at Sacramento, California, on June 26-29.
Gay accepted a one-year doping ban from last June and the disqualification of all results dating to July 15, 2012 – the date he first used a product that contained a banned substance Ä and forfeited all prizes obtained from that date, which included voiding his effort on the US Olympic men's 4x100m relay runner-up squad at London.
USADA said Gay has already handed over his silver medal to USOC officials.
After learning of his violation last year, Gay went public and said that while he never knowingly or willfully took a banned substance, he had made a mistake but did not elaborate.
Gay removed himself from all competition ahead of last year's World Championships and has not competed since.
He also agreed to assist Usada in investigating the circumstances behind his positive test, providing assistance and all products he was using at the time he tested positive.
“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,” Usada chief executive Travis T. Tygart said.
Providing assistance allowed Gay to receive up to a 75 percent reduction in the usual two-year ban under Usada regulations, setting the stage for the imposing of a one-year ban.
That suspension length is subject to appeal by the IAAF and the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada).
Gay's personal best of 9.69sec in 2009 at Shanghai makes him the joint-second fastest man ever behind Jamaican legend Usain Bolt, equal with Jamaican Yohan Blake.
In the 2007 world championships in Osaka, Gay won the triple of 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay, winning IAAF Athlete of the Year.– Sapa-AFP