© Copyright – 2014 – Athletics Illustrated
The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) got it right Wednesday, December 17th, when they announced the banning American sprint coach and former athlete John Drummond for eight years.
Drummond was Tyson Gay’s coach, who has been sanctioned for testing positive for performance enhancing drugs as well. The 32-year-old 100m and 200m specialist was sanctioned for one year; however, the suspension was a retroactive as it was backdated for one year, due to time served.
Drummond, the 46-year-old Philadelphia, Pennsylvania native was part of the gold-medal winning 4 x 100m relay team from the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. He competed in all sprint distances from 50m to 400m.
Apparently Drummond encouraged Gay to take the drugs, meanwhile Gay expressed denial when he was first caught and said that he put his trust in someone else, who failed him; turns out to be a lie. Additionally, there was a story about how Gay was getting massages with a massage cream that contained HGH and anabolic steroid and was clearly labelled as such.
Gay was so disingenuous that he joined USADA’s enhanced testing program called “My Victory” in which athletes volunteer to an enhanced testing program, to prove they are competing clean.
Perhaps because of a recent spate of doping allegations from a documentary that aired in Germany on ARD television, many involved in the sport have called for stiffer penalties including lifetime bans and criminal charges for cheats, including Kenyan MP Wesley Korir who wants to table a bill for criminal conviction for athletes, coaches, agents and doctors who are involved in cheating.
USADA made the correct decision to ban Drummond for eight years, therefore setting a standard or perhaps a precedent for other anti-doping agencies to follow as well as the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and National Sport Organisations (NSOs) as they continue to develop rules and laws. They need to show that there is no tolerance for this criminal behavior, so it can end, before the sport of athletics is crushed under the weight of doping scandals.