Tyson Gay

Former coach sues Tyson Gay over doping case

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Tyson Gay‘s former coach is suing the sprinter and the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency “for falsely accusing him of administering and providing performance-enhancing drugs” to Gay, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Jon Drummond, who coached Gay as recently as 2012, filed a lawsuit against Gay and USADA CEO Travis Tygart in a Texas county civil court Wednesday, according to the report, and said USADA notified him a month ago that it intended to seek a lifetime ban against him.

Gay tested positive three times in 2013 for “an exogenous androgenic anabolic steroid and/or its metabolites,” according to USADA, which suspended the sprinter for one year. Gay was given a reduced suspension for “providing substantial assistance” to USADA. The World Anti-Doping Agency Code notes that “substantial assistance” includes fully disclosing all information an athlete possesses in relation to the doping violation and implicating other individuals.

Those drug tests came several months after Drummond stopped working with Gay. Drummond told Sports Illustrated last year that he had not worked with Gay since September 2012.

Drummond said in the lawsuit that Gay never tested positive while Drummond was his coach, according to the Star-Telegram.

“He was absolutely stunned when rumors began to arise that either Mr. Gay himself or others intended to blame this positive test on Mr. Drummond,” the lawsuit stated.

The USADA report stated that Gay first used a product that contained a prohibited substance on July 15, 2012.

Sports Illustrated reported last year that Drummond knew an anti-aging doctor, Clayton Gibson, who started working with Gay before the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials, which ran from June 21-July 1, 2012.

Gibson said that Gay had been referred to him by former U.S. sprinter Jon Drummond, who once coached Gay and was the Team USA relay coach at the 2012 Olympics. Gay was a member of the 4×100-meter relay team in London. Drummond denied in a text message to SI that he referred Gay to Gibson, but said he met the doctor with Gay last year. “I had heard good reports about [Gibson] from various athletes, so I hoped to engage in some due diligence with respect to his practice, just as I have done with many medical providers over the years … I did not recommend that Tyson enter a relationship with him, long-term or otherwise. I have not worked with Tyson since September 2012 and have no knowledge as to what relationships he may have entered during that period.”

Gay and the U.S. 4x100m relay team won silver at the London Olympics, but Gay lost all of his results since July 15, 2012, with the suspension and returned his Olympic medal.

ProPublica reported more about Drummond, Gibson and Gay after the suspension came down, saying that Drummond “discussed [Gibson] with Gay.”

People with knowledge of USADA’s ongoing investigation have told ProPublica that the sprinter tested positive for a steroid or steroid precursor believed to have come from a cream given to him by Atlanta chiropractor and anti-aging specialist Clayton Gibson III. …

Drummond vehemently denied being aware of any creams that Gay was using that might contain banned substances.

People with knowledge of USADA’s investigation said the agency has been told that Drummond had carried the cream for Gay during a training camp in Monaco prior to the 2012 Olympics.

Drummond, 45, won Olympic silver and gold medals in 1996 and 2000 as part of the U.S. Olympic 4x100m relay teams.

Justin Gatlin runs fastest 100m of 2014 in Beijing

Rafael Nadal can tie Roger Federer’s Slam record with 13th French Open

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For all of the many qualities contributing to Rafael Nadal’s unprecedented superiority at the French Open — the bullwhip of a high-bouncing lefty forehand, the reflex returns, the cover-every-corner athleticism, the endless energy and grit — there’s one element that stands above all the rest.

According to the opponent Nadal beat in the last two finals in Paris, anyway.

“You go into the match knowing that even your best tennis, even if you play it over three, four hours, might not be enough. I mean, if you do it, you maybe have a little chance, but you have to go to your limit on every single rally, every single point,” Dominic Thiem, who won the U.S. Open less than two weeks ago, told The Associated Press.

“That makes it not easy to go into the match,” Thiem said. “And that’s the mental part, I guess.”

When main-draw competition begins Sunday at Roland Garros, Thiem and every other player in the men’s bracket will be pursuing Nadal as the 34-year-old from Spain pursues history.

If Nadal manages to claim a 13th French Open championship — extending his own record for the most singles trophies won by anyone at any major tennis tournament — he would, more significantly, also collect his 20th Grand Slam title overall, tying Roger Federer’s record for a man.

FRENCH OPEN DRAWS: Men | Women | TV Schedule

Nadal’s tally elsewhere: four U.S. Opens, two Wimbledons, one Australian Open.

He spoke Friday in Paris about what “probably are the most difficult conditions for me ever in Roland Garros” — a lack of matches in 2020; a new brand of tennis balls (“super slow, heavy”); cooler weather and plenty of rain in the forecast.

“But you know what?” Nadal said. “I am here to fight and to play with the highest intensity possible.”

Asked recently about the possibility of catching the 39-year-old Federer, out for the rest of the season after a pair of operations on his right knee, Nadal expressed a sentiment he’s uttered before.

Climbing the Grand Slam list, Nadal said, is “not an obsession at all.”

“I know that you put a lot of attention on all of this,” he replied when the topic was raised last week at the Italian Open, Nadal’s first tournament since February because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Of course I would love to finish my career with 25, but (that’s) something that probably will not happen. I’m going to keep fighting to produce chances, and then when I finish my career, let’s see, no?” he said. “I just want to keep enjoying tennis. And that’s it. If I am playing well, I know I normally have my chances. If not, going to be impossible. That’s it.”

There is, of course, another great of the game playing during this era and, like Nadal, gaining on Federer.

That would be No. 1-ranked Novak Djokovic, who had won five of seven major titles to raise his total to 17 before being disqualified at the U.S. Open for accidentally hitting a line judge with a ball while walking to a changeover.

In this oddest of years, the Grand Slam season will drawing to a close in France; the clay-court major was postponed from May until now because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Roland Garros is the last Slam, the last opportunity of this season. So we all know who the main favorite is there: Obviously, it’s Nadal. And everything that he has achieved there, losing maybe a couple matches in his entire career on that court … is probably the most impressive record that anybody has on any court,” Djokovic said. “So, yeah, of course you would put him right there in front as a favorite to win it.”

For the record: Nadal has won 93 of 95 matches in the French Open and his last 21 in a row.

So what makes him so dominant there?

“He’s an unbelievably great tennis player. Probably on clay, a little bit better than on the other surfaces,” Thiem said. “He’s left-handed, which makes it very uncomfortable. And then his forehand, the topspin on the clay, it’s cruel to play.”

Thiem takes notes and hopes to emulate aspects of Nadal’s game.

So do others.

In Rome, for example, two-time Grand Slam champion Simona Halep and one of her coaches, Artemon Apostu-Efremov, caught one of Nadal’s training sessions.

“We were watching the way he hits the ball, the acceleration, the energy he has on the court and the way he practices 100%. It’s always an inspiration,” Apostu-Efremov said.

“This dedication on the court and focus on court,” he said, “it’s something that, for sure, could be transferred to Simona.”

Nadal wound up losing his third match in Italy, which is neither ideal form nor the sort of prep work he is accustomed to ahead of Roland Garros.

Still, Nadal at the French Open is unlike anyone else, anywhere else.

“Regardless of how he feels, I’m sure he’ll find a way,” said Stefanos Tsitsipas, a 2019 Australian Open semifinalist seeded No. 5 in Paris. “He always finds a way, every single year. Clay is his surface. I’m sure he’s going to do well.”

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Skate America will not have fans

Skate America
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Skate America, the top annual international figure skating competition held in the U.S., will not have spectators in Las Vegas from Oct. 23-25.

U.S. Figure Skating said the restriction was “due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and in strict accordance with the Nevada Gaming Control Board guidelines.”

Skate America is the first top-level event of the season, kicking off the six-stop Grand Prix Series leading up to December’s Grand Prix Final, which is scheduled this season for Beijing.

The series has already been modified to restrict fields to skaters from the host country or to the event closest to their training location.

Grand Prix fields have not been announced, though two-time world champion Nathan Chen said last month he hoped to go for a fourth straight Skate America title.

Chen trains in California. Most, if not all, top U.S. skaters train in the U.S. or Canada, which means they will compete in Skate America or Skate Canada if they participate in the Grand Prix Series at all.

Two-time U.S. women’s champion Alysa Liu will not be old enough to compete on the Grand Prix until the 2021-22 Olympic season.

Skaters are limited to one Grand Prix start this season. In past seasons, they’ve typically competed twice.

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