Athletics’ world governing body on Monday said that the anti-doping system was working, after top sprinters Tyson Gay and Asafa Powell returned positive tests, sending shockwaves through the sport.
The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) said it had an “unwavering” commitment to root out drug cheats, as it had a duty to the majority of athletes who believed in clean competition."It is for them that we have built a programme that is well-resourced, far-reaching and sophisticated," the IAAF said in an emailed statement.
“The fact that we are able to detect and remove from the sport athletes who have breached our anti-doping rules should be seen in this context.
“The credibility of our anti-doping programme, and the sport of athletics, is enhanced, not diminished, each time we are able to uncover a new case and we have the committed support of every athlete, coach or official who believes in clean sport.”
Gay and Powell -- two of the four fastest men in history -- on Sunday both confirmed separately that they had tested positive for a banned substance.
Gay, who is awaiting the results of his B sample after a banned stimulant was detected, said he “never knowingly or wilfully” taken any banned substances.
Powell, meanwhile, was reportedly one of five athletes who failed drug tests at Jamaica’s national trials last month in Kingston.
‘No sabotage theory’
Washington: Both Powell and Gay denied knowingly taking the banned substance. In a statement released through his agent, Powell said, “I assure you that we will find out how this substance passed our rigorous internal checks and balances and design systems to make sure it never happens again.”
Gay, who won the 100m and 200m at US nationals last month, failed an out-of-competition test May 16. The 30-year-old didn’t reveal what the banned substance was. He would have his “B” sample tested for a further step.
“I don’t have a sabotage story. I don’t have any lies. I don’t have anything to say to make this seem like it was a mistake or it was on USADA’s hands, someone playing games,” said Gay."The B sample will be processed shortly, and as in all cases all athletes are innocent unless or until proven otherwise through the established legal process, and any attempt to sensationalize or speculate is a disservice to due process, fair play, and to those who love clean sport," announced USADA in a statement.
Gay, who won three gold medals at 2007 world championships, had signatured himself as a man of “clean competition”. He joined USADA “My Victory” program, which encouraged clean competition.