The United States 4x100 metre men’s relay team have been stripped of their silver medals from the London 2012 Olympics in the wake of Tyson Gay’s doping case.
Gay had already handed his medal back to officials after serving a one-year doping ban following a positive test for a banned anabolic steroid, which dated back to July 2012 and, as a result, nullified his results from the Olympics.
Last night, the International Olympic Committee informed the United States Olympic Committee that the remainder of the quartet: Justin Gatlin, who has served two drugs bans, Ryan Bailey and Trell Kimmons, as well as Jeffery Demps and Darvis Patton, who had run in previous legs for the team at the Games, were to be stripped of their medals.
As a result of the ruling and if the medals are reallocated, Trinidad & Tobago will be upgraded to silver while France will be awarded the bronze.
The decision, which had been anticipated, was confirmed by a USOC spokesman: “As expected following Usada’s [United States Anti-Doping Agency] decision in the Tyson Gay case, the IOC today confirmed that the US team has been disqualified from the 4x100m race that was part of the athletics competition at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
“We will begin efforts to have the medals returned and support all measures to protect clean athletes.”
Gay had run the third leg at the Games in London as the US line-up set a national record of 37.04 seconds, which has also been erased from the records, behind the gold medallists Jamaica, anchored home by Usain Bolt in a world record time of 36.84sec.
It was announced on 14 July 2013 that Gay had tested positive for a banned substance back in May but blamed it on a third party, saying “I put my trust in someone and was let down”. After aiding Usada officials, he was given a reduced ban of one year, the leniency of which was recently criticised by Bolt, and the American sprinter’s results from 15 July 2012 when he first used the product containing the banned substance were erased.
Under international rules, entire relay quartets can have their medals rescinded on the basis of just one athlete’s failed test and athletics governing body, the IAAF, had already called for the US line-up to be disqualified, which was officially ratified by the IOC yesterday.
This is not the first time that American teams have fallen foul of the rules; three of their teams having their medals annulled in due course from the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. Gay remains a part of the US 4x100m line-up and ran with both Gatlin and Bailey at the IAAF World Relays earlier this month, and is expected to play a key role in the quartet at August’s World Championships in Beijing.