Adidas suspends its contract with Gay a day after disclosure
New york, 15 July
The list reads like a Who’s Who of the world’s best sprinters: Jamaican Asafa Powell, the former world-record holder at 100 metres, and American champion Tyson Gay, who went out of his way to promote himself as an anti-drug athlete.
Adidas on Monday suspended its sponsorship of Gay. The sportswear giant acted a day after Gay disclosed that a banned substance was detected in an out-of-competition test in May and he had pulled out of next month’s world championships in Moscow.
"We are shocked by these recent allegations, and even if we presume his innocence until proven otherwise, our contract with Tyson is currently suspended," Adidas said in a statement.
The 30-year-old Gay, the American record-holder in the 100 meters, has been backed by Adidas since 2005.
"During this time he has been a great ambassador for the sport of track and field and our brand," Adidas, which is based in Herzogenaurach, Germany, said. The shoe and sports clothing maker is invoking the clause in Gay’s contract relating to doping.
“Adidas has a clear policy on doping and drug use,” the company said. “Each of the agreements with our athletes include a clear clause which states that the agreement shall be terminated by Adidas if the athlete is found guilty of the possession or use of drugs or any other prohibited substance by the relevant governing sports body having jurisdiction over the athlete,” it added.
Gay, who won the 100- and 200-metres at the U.S. national championships last month, has said he will have his “B” sample tested soon, possibly as early as this week.
He has not disclosed the banned substance that led to the positive test, but said he put his “trust in someone and I was let down”.
“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,” Gay said on Sunday, referring to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. Results for Gay, who won the 100, 200 and 4×100 relay at the world championships in 2007, never raised red flags until an out-of-competition test on May 16.Three of Jamaica&’s top athletes including Powell have denied taking banned substances after the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) confirmed that five of the country&’s athletes have tested positive for illegal substances. JADCO did not name the athletes but reports say they include former men’s 100m world record holder Powell, Olympic silver medallist Sherone Simpson and Central American and Caribbean Senior Games discus champion Allison Randall. Word came on Sunday that all three had failed drug tests. “A sad day,” one former track official called it — and certainly a day that punctured the myth that the oft-troubled sport had cleaned up its act.
“I am not now ~ nor have I ever been ~ a cheat,” Powell said in a message released through his Twitter account.
Powell, 30, whose 100-metre record of 9.74 stood until Usain Bolt beat it in 2008, was calling for an investigation as to how a stimulant called oxilofrine entered his system and caused a positive test at Jamaica’s national championships in June.
Simpson, who tested positive for the same stimulant, said she “would not intentionally take an illegal substance of any form into my system.” In protesting her innocence, Randall said she could not afford the cost of PEDs and in an interview with the Jamaica Observer Sunday said she was “embarrassed and shocked” and had never heard of the substance before. “I have not intentionally taken any banned substance. I have been vigilant with everything I consume, so I am extremely shocked and surprised by this incident,” said Randall.