The anti-doping organization said in a statement it “appreciates his approach to handling this situation and his choice to voluntarily remove himself from competition while the full facts surrounding his test are evaluated.”
“The ‘B’ sample will be processed shortly,” the statement went on, “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.”
Gay is the second high-profile track athlete to makes headlines for doping in the last few weeks. Jamaica’s Veronica Campbell-Brown, the reigning 200-meter world champion and three-time Olympic gold medalist, was suspended by her national federation last month pending an investigation into a positive drug test. Jamaican officials said Campbell-Brown, the 2004 and 2008 Olympic champion in the 200, tested positive for a banned diuretic at a meet on the island in May.
Gay is good friends with Campbell-Brown and said at the time: “We’re all accountable for what goes in our system or what goes in our body. But at the same time, sometimes mistakes do happen.”
A few years ago, Gay was part of USADA’s program called “My Victory,” where athletes pledge to compete clean. In his testimonial on the website, Gay said, “I compete clean because I really believe in fairness, and besides that, my mom would kill me! Just being honest.”
The Twitter accounts of many track and field athletes expressed their thoughts soon after news broke on Gay:
— Distance runner Kara Goucher: “I am heartbroken over the news of Tyson Gay. Always liked him. Keep cleaning up the sport USADA, there are many more cheats out there.”
— Sprinter Wallace Spearmon: “ ... much respect is all I can say. I wish you well. We started together and I got your back.”