Tyson Gay returns Olympic silver medal with doping ban

Tyson Gay
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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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Mark McMorris breaks Winter X Games medals record with slopestyle gold

Mark McMorris
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Canadian snowboarder Mark McMorris broke his tie with American Jamie Anderson for the most Winter X Games medals across all sites, earning his 22nd medal, a slopestyle gold, in Aspen, Colorado.

On the final run of Sunday’s contest, McMorris overtook Norway’s Marcus Kleveland with back-to-back 1620s on the last two jumps. McMorris’ last three Aspen slopestyle titles were all won on his final run (2019, 2022).

“It’s something I never thought would ever come to me as a kid from Saskatchewan,” McMorris, 29, said on the broadcast. “Everything’s just been a bonus since I became a pro snowboarder.”

In a format introduced three years ago, athletes were ranked on overall impression of their best run over the course of a jam session rather than scoring individual runs.

McMorris won his record-extending seventh X Games Aspen men’s slopestyle title, one day after finishing fourth in big air.

“It just keeps getting crazier because I keep getting older,” he said. “People just keep pushing the limits, pushing the limits. Last night was such a downer, almost bums me out, like, dude, do I still have it? … To have one of those miracle wins where you do it on the last run and someone makes you push yourself, those are the best feelings.”

McMorris won slopestyle bronze medals at each of the last three Olympics and reportedly said last February that he was planning to compete through the 2026 Milan-Cortina Winter Games.

Canadian Max Parrot, the 2022 Olympic slopestyle champion, is taking this season off from competition.

Anderson, a two-time Olympic snowboard slopestyle champion, is expecting her first child.

Later Sunday, U.S. Olympian Mac Forehand won men’s ski big air with a 2160 on his last run, according to commentators. It scored a perfect 50. Olympic gold medalist Birk Ruud of Norway followed with a triple cork 2160 of his own, according to commentators, and finished third.

Canadian skier Megan Oldham added slopestyle gold to her big air title from Friday, relegating Olympic champion Mathilde Gremaud of Switzerland to silver.

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Ilia Malinin wins U.S. Figure Skating Championships despite quadruple Axel miss

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One year ago, Ilia Malinin came to the U.S. Championships as, largely, a 17-year-old unknown. He finished second to Nathan Chen in 2022 and was left off the three-man Olympic team due to his inexperience, a committee decision that lit a fire in him.

After the biggest year of change in U.S. figure skating in three decades, Malinin came to this week’s nationals in San Jose, California, as the headliner across all disciplines.

Though he fell on his quadruple Axel and doubled two other planned quads in Sunday’s free skate (the most ambitious program in history), he succeeded the absent Chen as national champion.

Malinin, the world’s second-ranked male singles skater, still landed two clean quads in Friday’s short program and three more Sunday. He totaled 287.74 points and prevailed by 10.43 over two-time Olympian Jason Brown, a bridge between the Chen and Malinin eras.

“I think I was just not ready to deliver at that day,” Malinin, who was bidding to become the second man to land six quads in one program after Chen, said on NBC. “I was really so confident, I think I sort of overthought everything and tried to get ahead of myself. But I think it’s all right.”

FIGURE SKATING NATIONALS: Full Results

Brown, a 28-year-old competing for the first time since placing sixth at the Olympics, became the oldest male singles skater to finish in the top three at nationals since Jeremy Abbott won the last of his four titles in 2014. As usual, he didn’t attempt a quad but had the highest artistic score by 9.41 points.

Brown’s seven total top-three finishes at nationals tie him with Chen, Michael WeissBrian Boitano, David Jenkins and Dick Button for the second-most in men’s singles since World War II, trailing only Todd Eldredge‘s and Hayes Jenkins‘ eight.

“I’m not saying it’s super old, but I can’t train the way I used to,” Brown said after Friday’s short program. “What Ilia is doing and the way he is pushing the sport is outstanding and incredible to watch. I cannot keep up.”

Andrew Torgashev took bronze, winning the free skate with one quad and all clean jumps. Torgashev, who competed at nationals for the first time since placing fifth in 2020 at age 18, will likely round out the three-man world team.

Japan’s Shoma Uno will likely be the favorite at worlds. He won last year’s world title, when Malinin admittedly cracked under pressure in the free skate after a fourth-place short program and ended up ninth.

That was before Malinin became the first person to land a quad Axel in competition. That was before Malinin became the story of the figure skating world this fall. That was before Malinin took over the American throne from Chen, who is studying at Yale and not expected to return to competition.

Malinin’s next step is to grab another label that Chen long held: best in the world. To do that, he must be better than he was on Sunday.

“You always learn from your experiences, and there’s always still the rest of the season to come,” he said. “I just have to be prepared and prepare a little bit extra so that doesn’t happen again.”

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