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

Usain Bolt, Tyson Gay
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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.”

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Alpine skiing to test new format for combined race

Alpine Skiing Combined
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Alpine skiing officials will test a new format for the combined event, a race that is under review to remain on the Olympic program.

French newspaper L’Equipe reported that the International Ski Federation (FIS) will test a new team format for the combined, which has been an individual event on the Olympic program since 1988. L’Equipe reported that a nation can use a different skier for the downhill and slalom in the new setup, quoting FIS secretary general Michel Vion.

For example, the U.S. could use Breezy Johnson in the downhill run and sub her out for Mikaela Shiffrin in the slalom run, should the format be adopted into senior competition.

The format will be tested at the world junior championships in January in St. Anton, Austria, according to the report.

In response to the report, a FIS spokesperson said, “Regarding the new format of the combined is correct, and our directors are working on the rules so for the moment the only thing we can confirm is that there will be this new format for the Alpine combined that has been proposed by the athletes’ commission.”

Some version of the combined event has been provisionally included on the 2026 Olympic program, with a final IOC decision on its place coming by April.

This will be the third consecutive World Cup season with no combined events. Instead, FIS has included more parallel races in recent years. The individual combined remains on the biennial world championships program.

L’Equipe also reported that the mixed team parallel event, which is being dropped from the Olympics, will also be dropped from the biennial world championships after this season.

“There is nothing definitive about that yet, but it is a project in the making,” a FIS spokesperson said in commenting on the report.

Vion said the mixed team event, which debuted at the Olympics in 2018, was not a hit at the Beijing Games and did not draw a strong audience, according to L’Equipe.

The World Cup season starts in two weeks with the traditional opening giant slaloms in Soelden, Austria.

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Ironman Kona World Championships return, live on Peacock

Ironman Kona World Championship
Ironman
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The Ironman Kona World Championships return after a three-year hiatus with a new format, live on Peacock on Thursday and Saturday at 12 p.m. ET.

The Ironman, held annually in Hawaii since 1978, and in Kailua-Kona since 1981, was not held in 2020 or 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The world championships made a one-time-only stop in St. George, Utah, on May 7 to make up for the 2021 cancellation. The winners were Norway’s Kristian Blummenfelt, the Tokyo Olympic triathlon champion, and Swiss Daniela Ryf, who bagged her fifth Ironman world title.

WATCH LIVE: Ironman Kona men’s pro race, Saturday, 12 p.m. ET — STREAM LINK

Both entered Kailua-Kona, where the races were now split between two days — Thursday for the women and Saturday for the men. Chelsea Sodaro won the women’s race, ending a 20-year American victory drought.

An Ironman includes a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike and a marathon — totaling 140.6 miles of racing. It takes top triathletes eight hours to complete. Very arguably, it crowns the world’s fittest man and woman.

Blummenfelt, 28 and in his Kona debut, will try to become the youngest male champion in Kona since German Normann Stadler in 2005. His top challengers include countryman Gustav Iden, the two-time reigning Half Ironman world champion, and German Patrick Lange, the 2017 and 2018 Ironman Kona winner.

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