Usain Bolt, Tyson Gay

Usain Bolt: Tyson Gay’s reduced ban ‘the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard’

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Usain Bolt, a known proponent of lifetime bans for athletes who purposely cheat, repeated his thoughts that former sprint rival Tyson Gay‘s reduced, one-year ban after failing drug tests is wrong.

“The stupidest thing I’ve ever heard,” Bolt told Runner’s World, according to a Times of London article published Friday. “He got a year just because he talked to the authorities about how it was done and who helped him. That sends the wrong message: ‘If you do it and get caught, just tell us all you know and we’ll lower your ban.'”

Gay, 32, is joint second-fastest man of all time in the 100m with an America record 9.69 seconds.

Gay tested positive for a steroid in 2013 and first used a product that contained a prohibited substance on July 15, 2012, less than three weeks before his first race at the London Olympics.

He returned a silver medal won with the U.S. 4x100m relay team from the Olympics, but it has not been decided if the team will be stripped of second place behind Bolt’s Jamaican team.

A potential two-year ban for Gay was reduced to one year because the U.S. sprinter provided “substantial assistance” to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency in the fight against doping.

Gay returned to competition last summer, clocking a best time of 9.93 seconds as the third-fastest American and .05 faster than Bolt’s best in an injury-shortened year.

Last July, Bolt told Reuters, “Tyson Gay get just one year because of cooperating, I think it is sending a bad message into the sport that you can do it [dope], but if you cooperate with us, we’ll reduce the sentence.”

Bolt and Gay could race against each other at this summer’s World Championships, but Bolt said he is not looking forward to facing the man who was once his biggest rival.

“It really bothers me,” Bolt said in the report. “I’m not worried about him beating me, I think it’s because I respected him so much over the years. He was a competitor, kept me on my toes and he pushed me to always do my best. Then to find out that he was on drugs — it’s a bit like I think parents must feel when they have a kid who does something bad and lets them down. I feel like he let me down, and he let the sport down.”

Usain Bolt runs his slowest 100m final ever; Brazil TV simulates Bolt’s dream 100m race

Joey Mantia extends U.S. medal streak at speed skating worlds; Dutch dominance returns

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Joey Mantia ensured the host U.S. finished with a medal at the world single distances championships. Ireen WüstKjeld Nuis and Jorrit Bergsma ensured the Netherlands finished atop the medal standings.

Mantia joined Shani Davis as the only U.S. men to earn individual medals at three different editions of the championships, taking bronze in the 1500m on the last day of the speed skating meet at the 2002 Olympic oval outside Salt Lake City.

Mantia won the mass start at the last two worlds in 2017 and 2019 (and finished fifth on Sunday, after the 1500m bronze).

Mantia clocked a personal best 1:42.16 in the fifth of 12 pairs of the 1500m. It held up until Nuis (1:41.66) and countryman Thomas Krol (1:41.73) in the last two pairs.

“Was starting to think that I’m so old that I can’t time trial anymore,” Mantia, a 34-year-old whose last 1500m personal best came in 2015, told media in Utah. “Maybe there’s a little bit of hope left.”

Mantia’s medal extended the U.S. streak of making the podium at every world championships this millennium — 16 straight. The single bronze is the smallest medal output since 2000.

Full results are here.

Wüst and Nuis gave the Dutch a sweep of the men’s and women’s 1500m titles, two years after they did the same at the PyeongChang Olympics. Bergsma, an Olympic and world 10,000m champion, earned his first global medal of any color — gold — in the 16-lap mass start.

The Netherlands failed to earn any golds on the first two days of the four-day competition. The dominant Dutch, who topped the medal standings at every Olympics and worlds dating to the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Games, entered Sunday trailing Russia.

But Wüst began the day by clocking 1:50.92 to win the 1500m by .21 over Russian Yevgenia Lalenkova. American medal hope Brittany Bowe, the 2015 World champion who took bronze last year, finished 14th a day after taking eighth in her world-record 1000m distance.

Nuis and Krol went one-two in the men’s 1500m to tie Russia’s medal total. Then Irene Schouten took bronze in the women’s mass start to put the Netherlands ahead for good, followed by Bergsma’s capper.

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MORE: Shani Davis retires, takes new role in speed skating

Netherlands on the board; more world records at speed skating worlds

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It took four world records from other countries before the Netherlands won its first title in an Olympic program event at the world single distances speed skating championships.

Jutta Leerdam got the dominant skating nation on the board on the third day of the four-day competition and in the ninth Olympic program event. Leerdam scored an upset over defending champion and world-record holder Brittany Bowe, the American who ended up eighth.

Leerdam, 21, prevailed despite having zero World Cup podiums to her name. She clocked 1:11.84, just .23 slower than Bowe’s world record set on the same Utah Olympic Oval last year. Bowe, who recently had her yearlong win streak snapped in the 1000m, finished in 1:12.92.

“It’s a nightmare,” Bowe said, according to media on site.

Later, the Netherlands won the men’s team pursuit in a world record 3:34.68, the fifth world record in Olympic events the last two days on the world’s fastest ice at the 2002 Olympic oval outside Salt Lake City.

Full results are here.

The world championships conclude Sunday, highlighted by American Joey Mantia defending his world title in the mass start.

In other Saturday events, both the men’s 1000m and women’s 5000m world records fell. On Friday, world records were lowered in the men’s 10,000m and women’s team pursuit.

Pavel Kulizhnikov followed his Friday world 500m title with the 1000m crown, repeating his double gold from 2016. Kulizhnikov was one of the Russians banned from the PyeongChang Olympics after he served a prior doping ban.

On Saturday, Kulizhnikov clocked 1:05.69 to take .49 off Dutchman Kjeld Nuis‘ record from last March, also set at Salt Lake City. Nuis, the Olympic 1000m and 1500m champion, took silver, 1.03 seconds behind.

Russian Natalya Voronina and Czech Martina Sablikova both went under Sablikova’s world record in the 5000m. Voronina came out on top in 6:39.02, 2.99 seconds faster than Sablikova’s record from a year ago and 2.16 seconds faster than Sablikova on Saturday.

Voronina’s time would have been the men’s world record as recently as 1993. Sablikova won the previous 10 world titles in the event dating to 2007.

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