Usain Bolt criticized anti-doping officials Tuesday for reducing Tyson Gay‘s doping ban after he tested positive for an anabolic steroid last year.
A potential two-year ban for Gay was reduced to one year because the U.S. sprinter provided “substantial assistance” to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.
“I’m not really happy with the situation and with how it was done,” Bolt told Reuters. “I think for someone like [fellow Jamaican] Asafa [Powell] to get a ban of 18 months for that [stimulant oxilofrine] and then Tyson Gay get just one year because of cooperating, I think it is sending a bad message into the sport that you can do it [dope], but if you cooperate with us, we’ll reduce the sentence.”
Powell, who tested positive in June 2013 like Gay, had his 18-month ban reduced. The former 100m world record holder Powell was cleared to compete last week.
The IAAF decided not to appeal Gay’s one-year ban from USADA.
“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.
Bolt is scheduled to race for the first time this year in the Commonwealth Games 4x100m relay next week.