Jamaican sprinter Steve Mullings – the third-fastest man in the world this year, behind Asafa Powell and Tyson Gay – is facing the prospect of a life ban after failing a drugs test for the second time in his career.
The Jamaica Gleaner newspaper reported yesterday that the 26-year-old had tested positive for a masking agent at the Jamaican national championships in June. He faces a disciplinary hearing and is unlikely to be part of the team at the World Championships, which open in Daegu, South Korea, two weeks tomorrow.
Mullings had been expected to be a serious medal contender, having clocked a lifetime 100m best of 9.80sec in Eugene, Oregon, in June and beaten Gay, the US record holder and one of his training partners, in New York a week later. The world record holder Usain Bolt stands behind him in the rankings, with a 100m best of 9.88sec in 2011. Only Powell and Gay, who will miss the World Championships because of injury, have run faster this year – 9.78sec and 9.79sec respectively.
Mullings served a two-year ban after testing positive for excessive levels of testosterone in 2004.