Horseracing has been the sport most recently blighted the use of performance enhancing drugs. The horseracing team Godolphin is currently waiting for the release of a report into the shameful usage of anabolic steroids by former trainer Mahmood al-Zarooni.
But while the sport is waiting for the British Horseracing Authority to reveal its key findings, athletics has unfortunately stolen the spotlight – and not for any positive reasons.
Global sprinting superstars Tyson Gay and Asafa Powell have both failed drug tests for using banned drugs. It as a dark chapter from athletics and one the sport will be keen to move forward from.
Background on Tyson Gay
Tyson Gay is a 30-year-old US sprinter from Lexington, Kentucky. Thus far, in 2013, Gay has recorded victories at the Adidas Gran Prix, Jamaica International Invitational and the Diamond League. It was the US Anti-Doping Agency that caught out Gay, with testing conducted on a sample that he provided from back in May – not from a competition.
Gay’s career highlight is undoubtedly the 9.69 seconds it took from him to run the 100-meter dash. Although he eventually lost out on the world record to Usain Bolt, Gay still holds the US record with that time.
Background on Asafa Powell
Performance-wise, 2013 has not been as kind to Asafa Powell as it has to Tyson Gay. Powell finished a disappointing seventh in the 100m trials for the World Championships last month, but then he did bounce back by winning the 100m Golden Spike event in Ostrava.
Jamaica is the country of Powell’s birth, and the sprinter is a noted 100m relay teammate of legendary sprinter Usain Bolt. It was in 2008 that Powell ran alongside Powell and his fellow Jamaicans to take gold. Powell is also 30 years old and his career is now left in major doubt with a ban likely on the way.
Performance Director of UK Athletics Comments
The most vocal response to the positive drug tests has been from Neil Black, performance director for UK Athletics. Black considers the results to be ‘a tragedy for athletics’, and has also explained how shocked he was to learn of the results. He used the incident as an opportunity to ‘remind athletes of their responsibility and accountability’ when using supplements and medicines.
Mistaken Consumption of Supplements
Asafa Powell responded to the result by explaining that he didn’t specifically know that he was using a banned stimulant until he learned of the testing results.
He further explained that he is always willing to provide test sample and that he will accept the consequences. Gay also provided a similar explanation that has been publicised by the media. He claims that he put his trust in a person that let him down.
Lack of Malicious Intent
The initial information from the sprinting scandal does not give you the clear impression of malicious intent, whereas in horseracing you did. The world is now waiting for further information as to the resolution of these two cases.
Simone Wright-Eddison is a contributor to many of the internet’s top racing portals, when not writing, watching or discussing horses Simone can be found following her other passion – Munster Rugby. You can follow Simone on twitter @grandnational09.