Seb Coe, IAAF to explore Tyson Gay case

Seb Coe
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Seb Coe, who is vice president of track and field’s international governing body (IAAF), said the organization wants to know what “significant assistance” U.S. sprinter Tyson Gay gave the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency to reduce a potential two-year ban to one year for failed drug tests.

“We (the IAAF) haven’t had the opportunity to explore it properly,” Coe told Reuters TV on Monday. “We would need to know what ‘significant assistance’ meant. And it is for our anti-doping teams at our headquarters in Monaco and the anti-doping board to decide if the sanction is appropriate.”

USADA announced Gay’s one-year ban on May 2, and he has returned his Olympic 4x100m relay silver medal to the U.S. Olympic Committee.

“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),” USADA said in its press release. “Gay’s sanction is subject to appeal by the IAAF and by the World Anti-Doping Agency.”

The IAAF has already said the International Olympic Committee will determine if Gay’s entire U.S. Olympic 4x100m relay team will be stripped of their silver medals from the London Games.

Gay “provided substantial assistance as outlined in the WADA Code including being interviewed on several occasions by USADA and providing all of the products he was using at the time of his positive tests,” USADA said.

The World Anti-Doping Agency Code defines “substantial assistance” as the following:

A Person providing Substantial Assistance must: (1) fully disclose in a signed written statement all information he or she possesses in relation to anti-doping rule violations, and (2) fully cooperate with the investigation and adjudication of any case related to that information, including, for example, presenting testimony at a hearing if requested to do so by an Anti-Doping Organization or hearing panel. Further, the information provided must be credible and must comprise an important part of any case which is initiated or, if no case is initiated, must have provided a sufficient basis on which a case could have been brought.

More from the code on “substantial assistance:”

Factors to be considered in assessing the importance of the Substantial Assistance would include, for example, the number of individuals implicated, the status of those individuals in the sport, whether a scheme involving Trafficking under Article 2.7 or administration under Article 2.8 is involved and whether the violation involved a substance or method which is not readily detectible in Testing.

Gay, 31 and the American 100m record holder, is eligible to compete again June 23 and is expected to return in July.

“This is not just about athletes proving or testing positive, and then once they’ve tested positive, starting to talk and help agencies,” Coe told Reuters. “We would rather the athletes were helping, assist the agencies before they were tested or proven positive. For me, that’s quite important.”

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IOC gives more time to pick 2030 Olympic host, studies rotating Winter Games

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The 2030 Winter Olympic host, expected to be Salt Lake City or Sapporo, Japan, is no longer targeted to be decided before next fall, the IOC said in announcing wider discussions into the future of the Winter Games, including the possibility of rotating the Games within a pool of hosts.

The IOC Future Host Commission was granted more time to study factors, including climate change, that could impact which cities and regions host future Winter Olympics and Paralympics. The 2030 Winter Games host is not expected to be decided before or at an IOC session next September or October.

Hosts have traditionally been chosen by IOC members vote seven years before the Games, though recent reforms allow flexibility on the process and timeline. For example, the 2024 and 2028 Games were awarded to Paris and Los Angeles in a historic double award in 2017. The 2032 Summer Games were awarded to Brisbane last year without a traditional bid race.

There are three interested parties for the 2030 Winter Olympics, the IOC said Tuesday without naming them. Previously, Salt Lake City, Sapporo and Vancouver were confirmed as bids. Then in October, the British Columbia government said it would not support a Vancouver bid, a major setback, though organizers did not say that decision ended the bid. All three cities are attractive as past Winter Games hosts with existing venues.

U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee officials have said Salt Lake City is a likelier candidate for 2034 than 2030, but could step in for 2030 if asked.

The future host commission outlined proposals for future Winter Olympics, which included rotating hosts within a pool of cities or regions and a requirement that hosts have an average minimum temperature below freezing (32 degrees) for snow competition venues at the time of the Games over a 10-year period.

The IOC Executive Board gave the commission more time to study the proposals and other factors impacting winter sports.

The IOC board also discussed and will continue to explore a potential double awarding of the 2030 and 2034 Winter Olympic hosts.

Also Tuesday, the IOC board said that Afghanistan participation in the 2024 Olympics will depend on making progress in safe access to sports for women and young girls in the country.

On Monday, Human Rights Watch urged the IOC to suspend Afghanistan until women and girls can play sport in the country.

In a press release, the IOC board expressed “serious concern and strongly condemned the latest restrictions imposed by the Afghan authorities on women and young girls in Afghanistan, which prevent them from practicing sport in the country.” It urged Afghanistan authorities to “take immediate action at the highest level to reverse such restrictions and ensure safe access to sport for women and young girls.”

The IOC board also announced that North Korea’s National Olympic Committee will be reinstated when its suspension is up at the end of the year.

In September 2021, the IOC banned the North Korean NOC through the end of 2022, including banning a North Korean delegation from participating in the Beijing Winter Games, after it chose not to participate in the Tokyo Games.

North Korea, formally known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, was the only one of 206 National Olympic Committees to withdraw from Tokyo. The country made its choice in late March 2021, citing a desire “to protect our athletes from the global health crisis caused by the malicious virus infection.”

The IOC said in September 2021 that it “provided reassurances for the holding of safe Games and offered constructive proposals to find an appropriate and tailor-made solution until the very last minute (including the provision of vaccines), which were systematically rejected by the PRK NOC.”

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Olympic champion Justine Dufour-Lapointe leaves moguls for another skiing discipline

Justine Dufour-Lapointe
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Justine Dufour-Lapointe, the 2014 Olympic moguls champion, is leaving the event to compete in freeriding, a non-Olympic skiing discipline.

“After three Olympic cycles and 12 years on the World Cup circuit, I felt that I needed to find a new source of motivation and had to push my limits even more so I can reach my full potential as a skier,” the 28-year-old Montreal native said in a social media video, according to a translation from French. “Today, I am starting a new chapter in my career. … I want to perfect myself in another discipline. I want to connect with the mountain differently. Above all, I want to get out of my comfort zone in a way I’ve never done before.”

Dufour-Lapointe said she will compete on the Freeride World Tour, a series of judged competitions described as:

There‘s a start gate at the summit and a finish gate at the bottom. That’s it. Best run down wins. It truly is that simple. Think skiers and snowboarders choosing impossible-looking lines through cornices and cliff-faces and nasty couloirs. Think progressive: big jumps, mach-speed turns and full-on attack. Think entertaining.

Dufour-Lapointe has retired from moguls skiing, according to a Freeride World Tour press release, though she did not explicitly say that in social media posts Tuesday.

At the 2014 Sochi Winter Games, Dufour-Lapointe denied American Hannah Kearney‘s bid to become the first freestyle skier to repeat as Olympic champion. Older sister Chloé took silver in a Canadian one-two.

Dufour-Lapointe also won the world title in 2015, then Olympic silver in 2018 behind Frenchwoman Perrine Laffont.

Chloé announced her retirement in September. A third Dufour-Lapointe Olympic moguls skier, Maxime, retired in 2018.

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