Tyson Gay

Tyson Gay returns Olympic silver medal with doping ban

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Tyson Gay was suspended one year for his failed drug tests last year and loses all of his results from July 15, 2012, including an Olympic 4x100m relay silver medal, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency said Friday.

Gay, 31, has returned the silver medal to the U.S. Olympic Committee.

Asked if Gay’s disqualified results meant the entire 2012 U.S. Olympic 4x100m relay team has been stripped of its medals, a spokesman for the IAAF [track and field’s international governing body] responded via email:

“Yes – according to IAAF Rule 41 of IAAF competition rules of 2012.”

Rule 41 states:

1. Where the Athlete who has committed an anti-doping rule violation competed as a member of a relay team, the relay team shall be automatically disqualified from the Event in question, with all resulting consequences for the relay team, including the forfeiture of all titles, awards, medals, points and prize money.

That would move Trinidad and Tobago up to silver and France to bronze.

“The IOC and the IAAF are the ruling authority on that decision, and we will obviously cooperate with them on this matter in the days ahead,” USOC spokesperson Patrick Sandusky said in a statement.

“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 CEO Travis T. Tygart said in a press release.

Gay tested positive three times last year for “an exogenous androgenic anabolic steroid and/or its metabolites,” USADA said, but since the tests were in short succession, they were treated as one failed offense.

Gay revealed he failed a drug test on July 14 and has not competed since. USADA backdated his one-year suspension to June 23, 2013, the day one of his samples was collected at the U.S. Outdoor Championships.

Gay would be eligible for this year’s U.S. Championships under a one-year suspension, but he would have to file a petition by June 16 for consideration, according to The Associated Press. Nationals start June 26. Gay plans to return in July, according to Reuters.

“For providing substantial assistance to USADA; Gay was eligible for up to a three-quarter reduction of the otherwise applicable two-year sanction under the [World Anti-Doping Agency] Code (or a six-month suspension). Gay’s sanction is subject to appeal by the IAAF and by the World Anti-Doping Agency,” USADA said in its press release.

Gay first used a product that contained a prohibited substance on July 15, 2012, USADA said, less than three weeks before his first race at the London Olympics. All of his competitive results since that date have been disqualified, USADA said.

Gay was part of the U.S. 4x100m relay team that won silver on Aug. 11, 2012. He ran the third leg after Justin Gatlin and Trell Kimmons and before Ryan Bailey.

“I don’t know of anything going on,” Gatlin said when asked if he had been contacted about his Olympic relay result, according to the Wall Street Journal.

It was the first Olympic medal of Gay’s career. Gay won triple gold at the 2007 World Championships, before Usain Bolt began dominating sprints. Gay has since dealt with injuries but ran 9.69 seconds in the 100m in 2009 and is tied as the second fastest man ever with Jamaican Yohan Blake.

“USA Track & Field is gravely disappointed any time an athlete uses performance-enhancing drugs, and Tyson Gay’s case serves as a lesson about the consequences of making poor decisions,” USA Track and Field CEO Max Siegel said in a statement. “We appreciate that Tyson accepted responsibility and has assisted USADA by providing information to help battle the use of [performance-enhancing drugs]. We thank USADA for their vigilant work on this case and for their leadership in the pursuit of clean sport.”

Gay’s first positive test was revealed the same day last year that Jamaican Olympic champion sprinters Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson‘s positive tests were also revealed, for banned stimulants.

Powell and Simpson have been suspended until December but have planned appeals.

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

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Shelby Houlihan shatters American 5000m record

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Shelby Houlihan chopped 10.52 seconds off her own American 5000m record, clocking 14:23.92 at a Bowerman Track Club intrasquad meet in Portland, Ore., on Friday night.

Houlihan, who was 11th in the Rio Olympic 5000m, has in this Olympic cycle improved to become one of the greatest female distance runners in U.S. history.

She first broke Shannon Rowbury‘s American record in the 5000m by 4.47 seconds in 2018. In 2019, she broke Rowbury’s American record in the 1500m by 1.3 seconds in finishing fourth at the world championships in 3:54.99.

On Friday, Houlihan and second-place Karissa Schweizer both went under the American record. Schweizer, 24 and three years younger than Houlihan, clocked 14:26.34, staying with Houlihan until the winner’s 61-second final lap.

“I knew Karissa was going to try to come up on me and take the lead. She does that every time,” Houlihan told USATF.tv. “I had decided I was not going to let that happen.”

Houlihan improved from 41st to 12th on the world’s all-time 5000m list, 12.77 seconds behind Ethiopian Tirunesh Dibaba‘s world record.

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Can T.J. Oshie, other established Olympic hockey stars hold on for 2022?

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T.J. Oshie will be 35 years old during the next Winter Olympics. Jonathan Quick will be 36. Now that the NHL is one key step closer to returning to the Winter Games, the question surfaces: which 2014 Olympians will have a difficult time returning to rosters in 2022?

Oshie was the last of the 14 forwards chosen for the U.S. Olympic team for Sochi, beating out Bobby Ryan and Brandon Saad, in part for his shootout prowess.

In group play against Russia, Oshie was memorably tapped by U.S. head coach Dan Bylsma six times in a shootout, including all five in the sudden-death rounds. Oshie beat Sergei Bobrovsky four times, including the game winner.

“After I went out for my third attempt, I figured I was going to keep going,” Oshie said, according to USA Hockey. “Each time I would look up to see what [Bylsma] had to say, and he would just give me a nod every time. I kind of started laughing toward shot five and six because it was getting kind of ridiculous.”

Oshie became known as “T.J. Sochi” on social media. President Barack Obama congratulated him on Twitter. The U.S. eventually lost to Canada in the semifinals and Finland in the bronze-medal game.

When the NHL chose not to send its players to the PyeongChang Winter Games, it may have spelled the end of Oshie’s Olympic career.

Consider that the oldest forward on the 2014 U.S. Olympic team was 29, six years younger than Oshie will be come 2022. A recent Olympic roster prediction from The Hockey Writers put Oshie in the “Just Missed Out” list.

NBC Sports NHL analyst Pierre McGuire has Oshie among the finalists for the last forward spots in his early U.S. roster prediction.

“I wouldn’t discount T.J. Oshie because shootout is still part of it,” McGuire said. “He still has his shootout moves, even though he’s not getting any younger.”

Quick, the unused third goalie in 2010, played 305 out of 365 minutes in net for the U.S. in Sochi. He was coming off a Stanley Cup in 2012 and en route to another one in 2014.

Since, he was sidelined by a knee injury that required surgery. He remains the Los Angeles Kings’ No. 1 goalie, which almost automatically puts an American in the Olympic roster discussion these days.

“Somebody like Jonathan definitely merits consideration just because of his achievement level over time, but I think he’d be the first person to tell you injuries have definitely affected him,” McGuire said of Quick, looking to become the second-oldest U.S. goalie to play in the Olympics after Tom Barrasso in 2002. “It’s not going to be easy for him.”

The U.S. could bypass Quick for three Olympic rookies in 2022. Connor Hellebuyck, John Gibson and Ben Bishop have superior save percentages and goals-against averages and more games played than Quick since the start of the 2018-19 season.

A wild card is Spencer Knight, the 19-year-old No. 1 from the world junior championships who last year became the highest-drafted goalie since 2010 (No. 13 to the Florida Panthers). Knight would break defenseman Bryan Berard‘s record as the youngest U.S. Olympic hockey player in the NHL era.

The Canadian roster has traditionally been deeper than the U.S. The talent is overwhelming at center, led by Sidney CrosbyConnor McDavidPatrice Bergeron and Nathan MacKinnon. The Canadians must get creative if the likes of veterans Jonathan Toews and John Tavares will join them in Beijing.

Toews, then 21, was the best forward at the 2010 Vancouver Games and Canada’s only one on the all-tournament team. While Toews’ last NHL All-Star selection was in 2017, his last two seasons have been his best in terms of points per game since 2011.

“The one thing that Canada is very good at, they do it extremely well, they select players that fit roles,” McGuire said, noting Mike Richards shifting to the wing during the 2010 Olympics. “When you look at the overwhelming depth that Canada has, that’s going to be the thing that’s going that’s going to be very interesting to watch to see how it plays out at center.”

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