American sprinter Tyson Gay will be back in top-flight action just a year after testing positive for an anabolic steroid after accepting an invitation to compete at the Diamond League meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland, on July 3 in a highly controversial 100 metres race that will pit him against fellow doper Justin Gatlin.
Gay, 31, who failed three drug tests last summer but escaped with only a one-year suspension in exchange for the “substantial assistance” he provided to investigators at the United States Anti-Doping Agency, is eligible to compete again from June 23.
But the decision of the Lausanne organisers to invite both Gay and Gatlin, who served a four-year ban for a second doping offence, to compete in the same race has caused consternation within the sport, with many fans taking to social media to express their outrage.
The showdown between the two Americans is certain to overshadow the rest of the meeting in Lausanne, where a host of world and Olympic gold medallists will be in action, and puts the subject of doping in athletics back in the spotlight a year after Gay and Jamaican sprinters Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson tested positive for banned substances.
A statement released by the meeting organisers confirmed on Monday that Gay had “chosen to make his comeback from a one-year doping suspension on July 3 at the IAAF Diamond League Athletissima meeting, where he will compete in the 100m”.