As the old adage goes: Cheaters never win. According to the Associated Press, the International Olympic Committee notified the U.S. Olympic Committee that the men's 4×100 relay team has been disqualified and all the medals withdrawn because sprinter Tyson Gay (pictured, second from right), who ran on the third leg of race, tested positive for a banned substance and served a year-long suspension in 2013. The team eventually finished in second place, but with those medals being taken away, Trinidad and Tobago will officially be awarded the silver medal and France will get the bronze medal. Jamaica won the race and will keep its gold medal.
The entire U.S. men’s sprint relay team was stripped of its silver medal from the 2012 London Olympics on Wednesday as a result of Tyson Gay’s doping case, two officials with knowledge of the decision told The Associated Press. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the decision has not yet been announced. The International Olympic Committee notified the U.S. Olympic Committee by letter that the 4×100 relay team has been disqualified and all the medals withdrawn, the officials said. The letter asks the USOC to collect the medals and return them to the IOC. Gay returned his own medal last year after accepting a one-year doping suspension and the loss of results going back to July 2012, but the status of the U.S. second-place finish in London and the medals of Gay’s relay teammates had remained in limbo until now. Under international rules, an entire team can be disqualified and stripped of medals because of doping by one member. Gay was a member of the American team that finished second in London behind a Jamaican team anchored by Usain Bolt. The Americans set a national record in the final with a time of 37.04 seconds. The other U.S. team members losing medals are Trell Kimmons, Justin Gatlin, Ryan Bailey, Jeffery Demps and Darvis Patton. Kimmons, Gatlin and Bailey ran in the final with Gay. Gatlin, who is in Qatar for the opening Diamond League meet of the season on Friday, told the AP he was not aware of the decision and had no comment. Gatlin, who won the 100-meter gold medal at the 2004 Athens Games, served a four-year doping ban from 2006. Gay tested positive for steroids at the U.S. championships in 2013. He received a reduced suspension — rather than a two-year ban — because he cooperated with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency’s investigation that led to an eight-year ban for his former coach, Jon Drummond. Gay’s results were annulled going back to July 15, 2012, the date when he first used a product containing a banned substance. If the London medals are reallocated, the silver will go to Trinidad and Tobago, which finished third in 38.12 seconds. The bronze would go to the French team which placed fourth in 38.16 seconds. The rules of track and field’s world governing body, the International Association of Athletics Federations, mandated that the entire U.S. team be disqualified, but the final decision was up to the IOC. Drummond was the coach of the U.S. relay team in London and placed Gay on the team. According to the USADA decision in Drummond’s case, the athlete took a banned substance in July 2012 with the coach’s knowledge. The IOC has previously stripped U.S. relay teams of medals retroactively for doping, including three teams from the 2000 Sydney Olympics. The U.S. was stripped of gold in the women’s 4×400 and bronze in the 4×100 following Marion Jones’ admission of doping. Jones returned her medals, but her teammates appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport to keep theirs and won their case in 2010. The court said IAAF rules at the time did not allow entire teams to be disqualified because of doping by one athlete. The IOC also stripped the U.S. men’s 4×400 relay of their Sydney gold after a doping admission by Antonio Pettigrew. In 2012, American runner Crystal Cox was stripped of her gold medal from the 4×400 relay at the 2004 Athens Olympics after admitting to doping. The IOC did not disqualify the rest of the team because it was unclear which rules were in effect at the time.
source: AP via WCBS
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