Tyson Gay

Tyson Gay: ‘There’s a lot for me to tell’

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Tyson Gay made his first comments about his suspension Saturday, one day after he received a backdated one-year ban, and hopes to speak in more detail about it soon, perhaps in the next week, he told the Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader.

“There’s a lot for me to tell, my side, and I would like to apologize to the city [Lexington] for not being able to speak earlier about the situation,” Gay said, according to the newspaper. “But under the rules of USADA [U.S. Anti-Doping Agency], they didn’t want me to speak on the case. But they definitely understand what happened, and USADA understands that it was a mistake. That’s why they’re allowing me to run this year.”

Gay, the American record holder in the 100m, 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.

The 31-year-old received a one-year ban when he could have been given a two-year ban. His suspension was reduced for “providing substantial assistance to USADA,” the agency said Friday. Still, all of his results since July 15, 2012, were disqualified, and he returned his silver medal from the 4x100m relay from the 2012 Olympics.

A spokesman for the IAAF, track and field’s international governing body, said the entire U.S. 4x100m relay team would be stripped of its silver medals in accordance with its rulebook.

Gay hasn’t competed since he revealed one of his failed drug tests last July. He is eligible to return to competition in late June and could enter the U.S. Championships that begin June 26 if he petitions in, and the petition is granted, according to The Associated Press.

Gay’s relay teammate speaks

Annemiek van Vleuten wins La Course with epic comeback (video)

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Annemiek van Vleuten, the cyclist who returned from a horrific Rio Olympic road race crash to become world champion, repeated as La Course winner with an epic last-kilometer comeback on Tuesday.

Van Vleuten sprinted from several seconds behind countrywoman Anna van der Breggen to win the one-day race, including four categorized climbs, contested on part of the Tour de France stage 10 course later that day.

“With 300 meters to go, I still thought I got second, and then I saw her dying,” Van Vleuten said, adding later, according to Cyclingnews.com, “With 500 meters to go my team director in the car gave up and stopped cheering for me.”

In Rio, van Vleuten suffered three small spine fractures and a concussion when her brakes appeared to lock, and she flipped over into a ditch during the road race. Van Vleuten was alone in the lead at the time with about seven miles to go of the 87-mile course.

She was eventually hospitalized in intensive care.

Van der Breggen went on to win the Olympic title, while van Vleuten returned quick enough to race at the October 2016 World Championships.

Van Vleuten, 35, won her first world title 13 months after the Rio Games, taking the time trial crown ahead of van der Breggen by 12 seconds. She also won the 10-stage Giro Rosa that concluded on Sunday.

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Greg Van Avermaet triples Tour de France lead in first mountain stage

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Belgian Greg Van Avermaet more than tripled his Tour de France overall lead in the first day in the mountains on Tuesday, but Wednesday may be his last day in the yellow jersey.

Julian Alaphilippe became the first Frenchman to win a stage in this year’s Tour, claiming the 10th stage that included three first-category climbs and a beyond-category climb but ended with a descent and the contenders together in the peloton.

Van Avermaet finished fourth, 1:44 behind Alaphilippe. More importantly, Van Avermaet crossed the Grand-Bornand finish line 1:39 ahead of a group that included most of the main contenders to top the podium in Paris on July 29.

The Olympic road race champion increased his overall lead from 43 seconds to 2:22.

Van Avermaet has worn the maillot jaune for a week straight, but he is not a climber, and the biggest test of the Tour thus far is imminent.

“No disrespect, but he’s not going to win the Tour,” said Team Sky’s Geraint Thomas, who is in second place.

The Tour continues with stage 11, live on NBCSN and NBC Sports Gold on Wednesday (full broadcast schedule here). The 67-mile stage starts in the 1992 Winter Olympic host Albertville and includes two beyond-category climbs. It concludes with a category-one summit at La Rosière.

“Tomorrow’s a climber’s day,” Van Avermaet said. “It will be super hard to keep [the yellow jersey]. … Tomorrow it will be over.”

Chris Froome, eyeing a record-tying fifth Tour de France title, is best placed of the pre-Tour favorites.

Froome is in sixth place and 3:21 behind Van Avermaet. Froome is followed by Spaniard Mikel Landa in the same time and 2014 Tour winner Vincenzo Nibali another six seconds back.

Colombian Rigoberto Uran, the 2017 Tour runner-up, finished 2:36 behind the group with Froome, Landa and Nibali.

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