Tyson Gay

Tyson Gay, Jamaican Olympic medalists test positive

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U.S. 100- and 200- meter champion Tyson Gay tested positive for a banned substance and will miss the world championships, he told The Associated Press.

“I don’t have a sabotage story,” Gay told the AP in a phone interview from Amsterdam. ” … I basically put my trust in someone and was let down.”

Two Jamaican sprinters who are Olympic medalists have also reportedly tested positive. Later reports said former 100 world-record holder Asafa Powell and Olympic 4×100 relay gold medalist Sherone Simpson were among the Jamaicans who tested positive.

Gay fought back sobs in the interview, according to the AP. He wouldn’t reveal the substance that led to the positive test.

He says he was notified by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency on Friday that a sample came back positive from an out-of-competition test May 16. He says he will have his “B” sample tested soon.

“It is not the news anyone wanted to hear, at any time, about any athlete,” USATF CEO Max Siegel said in a statement.

“I have to go over everything with USADA first,” Gay told the AP. “I will take whatever punishment I get like a man. I do realize and respect what I put in my body and it is my responsibility.

“I’m going to be honest with USADA, about everything, everybody I’ve been with, every supplement I’ve ever taken, every company I’ve ever dealt with, everything.”

Gay, 30, overcame a series of injuries over the past several years to turn in a healthy and productive season, taking the world lead over Usain Bolt in the 100 meters.

He owned the three fastest times in the 100 this year (9.75, 9.79 and 9.86). The next two fastest men were Carter and Powell and 9.87 and 9.88.

Gay is the American record holder in the 100 with a 9.69 set in 2009. He is a two-time Olympian who finished fourth in the 100 in London and took silver as part of the 4×100 relay.

Gay was the sprint sensation of track and field before Bolt, sweeping the 100, 200 and 4×100 at the 2007 world championships.

His absence at August’s worlds in Moscow opens the door wider for Bolt to take back the world title in the 100 and defend the 200 title.

Yohan Blake, the 2011 world 100 champ after Bolt false started out of the final, is an injury question mark for worlds. There’s also 2012 Olympic bronze medalist Justin Gatlin, who has beaten Bolt this year.

Neither Blake nor Gatlin are in the 200 at worlds though.

Gay’s last meet was July 4, a Diamond League 100 meters in Lausanne, where he beat Powell.

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Michael Phelps to participate in Shark Week

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NEW YORK (AP) — Olympic champ Michael Phelps is participating in Discovery network’s Shark Week this summer, although he won’t be asked to outswim one.

It’s not immediately clear what Phelps will be doing, although Discovery President Rich Ross said Tuesday he’s intrigued about seeing the fastest human swimmer interact with nature’s fastest. Perhaps Phelps can be encouraged to go underwater in a shark cage, he said.

The week of shark-themed programming in mid-summer is annually Discovery’s biggest event. Now that it is approaching its 29th year, programmers are on the lookout for a new wrinkle.

Phelps has won 28 Olympic swimming medals, 23 of them gold.

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World Figure Skating Championships ice dance preview

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Alex Shibutani says he and sister Maia have made a statement the past two years.

“With our ability to perform when the stakes are highest,” he said.

The stakes don’t get much higher than this week.

The Shibutani siblings, breakout world silver medalists a year ago, lead three U.S. couples who finished in the top six at the 2016 World Championships into this year’s worlds in Helsinki.

It is the strongest ice dance field since the Sochi Olympics. The PyeongChang Winter Games medal contenders will be confirmed this week.

The clear favorites are Canadians Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, the 2010 Olympic champions competing this season for the first time since taking silver in Sochi. Virtue and Moir returned from their two-year break to post the three highest total scores of all time in their last three international competitions.

“This is probably the most prepared we’ve been for a world championships,” Moir said, while adding, “this was a warm-up season.”

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The Shibutanis finished second (with a personal-best score) to Virtue and Moir at the most recent event, the Four Continents Championships at the 2018 Olympic venue in South Korea in February. The margin separating the two couples — 5.1 points — was considerable.

“We’re sort of in a way in a race against ourselves to try and see how good we can get and how good we can become,” Alex Shibutani said. “Each competition along the way is another step to that eventual goal [the Olympics].”

At worlds, the Shibutanis are in the medal mix with France’s Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron, who won the last two world titles.

The French, already the youngest world champs in 40 years, are trying for the first ice dance three-peat in 20 years.

But they have not progressed this season, unable to match or better their winning score from the 2016 World Championships.

Papadakis and Cizeron train in Montreal with Virtue and Moir, but they struggled (held against their own standard) in both competitions outside of French borders this season. And in different areas — step sequences, twizzles, lifts.

Conversely, it looks like the Shibutanis’ biggest obstacles are well behind them. They went from a world bronze medal in their first senior season together in 2011 to four straight years off the podium.

The Shibutanis hit a nadir at the Sochi Olympics with a ninth-place finish, worst of the three U.S. couples. Maia’s tights snagged on Alex’s sequined jacket during a lift.

The devoted vloggers countered doubts after Sochi by stressing their youth — Alex was 22 then; Maia was 19. They talked about weathering the journey and sticking to a meticulous creative process.

It paid off with their first U.S. title last year, followed by that world silver medal in Boston.

“Last year’s results at the world championships were very energizing for us,” Alex Shibutani said. “People are aware of the career trajectory that we have had. We’ve set ambitious goals because we were so motivated following that result and that exciting string of competitions that we had last season.”

The Shibutanis were actually outscored by two-time world medalists Madison Chock and Evan Bates in the U.S. Championships free dance in January. They stormed back with that personal best at Four Continents, though, erasing any doubt that they are the U.S. couple expected to make the podium in Helsinki.

The U.S. has earned 12 ice dance medals at the last 12 World Championships. In that same span, the U.S. brought home eight medals combined from men’s, women’s and pairs.

The Shibutanis feel confident they will extend recent American success in their discipline.

They would also create more history for sibling skaters. They’re already the most accomplished brother-sister duo since Isabelle and Paul Duchesnay of France won three straight world medals followed by Olympic silver in Albertville.

“We really elevated the way that we compete and perform,” at Four Continents last month, Alex Shibutani said. “Our skating has reached another level.”

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