Usain Bolt Tyson Gay Yohan Blake USADA

Usain Bolt Speaks Out Against Gay's Ban     Photo: Robert Muckley/flickr

Usain Bolt Rags on Tyson Gay

Says the one-year ban sends "a bad message to the sport"

Fastest man in history Usain Bolt has openly criticized the one-year ban of fellow sprinter Tyson Gay as being too lenient.

After testing positive for a banned steroid at last year's U.S. Track and Field Championships, Gay was retroactively stripped of the silver medal he won at the 2012 London Olympics as a member of the American 4x100 relay team. The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency banned him from the sport for one year. Although a two-year suspension is more typical in such cases, Gay was given a milder sentence for his willingness to cooperate with authorities and voluntarily refrain from competition while his case was under investigation.

For Bolt, who holds the world record for both the 100- and 200-meter events, the authorities' decision to mitigate Gay's sentence "sent a bad message to the sport." Bolt was also upset about his fellow Jamaican national Asafa Powell receiving a harsher penalty for testing positive for the stimulant oxilofrine, arguably a less severe infraction of anti-doping regulations.

"I think for someone like Asafa to get a ban of 18 months for that and then Tyson Gay get just one year because of cooperating, I think it is sending a bad message into the sport that you can do it [i.e., dope], but if you cooperate with us, we'll reduce the sentence," Bolt said.

Tyson Gay returned to competition earlier this summer, running a 9.93 in the 100 meters at the Lausanne Diamond League meet on July 3.

Along with Yohan Blake, currently recovering from a hamstring injury, Gay is viewed as Usain Bolt's primary competition, although when the charismatic Jamaican is in top form, he has proven to be nearly invincible.