Tyson Gay, the former World Champion in the 100m and 200m sprints tested positive for a banned substance and has been barred for one year from competing. His ban is retroactive to June 23, 2013, the date he tested positive. Gay has returned the Olympic Silver medal that he won at the London Olympics two years ago. He is eligible to return to competition next month and will be allowed to compete in the World Championships as well as the next Olympic Games.
The reason this story is important is because banned substance abuse is far more prevalent than most people realize. In fact, it would not be reaching to say that most athletes use some kind of performance enhancing substance. The problem with cheating other than the fact it’s simply wrong, is that it gives a premier athlete an unfair advantage. For most average or recreational athletes, performance enhancing drugs don’t make a huge difference. They might make a poor or average athlete better but they won’t turn that athlete into an elite athlete. But for an elite athlete, banned substances give that athlete just enough advantage to separate them from the other competitors. Therefore, it forces all athletes to try something in order to keep the playing field level. While only speculation, I have always believed that Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt had just a little help. His physique and times on the track are just too good to be true. But until he’s caught, he’s innocent until proven guilty. It’s just too bad what’s happened to professional sports and athletes. Although with all the money on the line today, one can certainly understand why they do it. The only way to clean it up entirely, is to ban any athlete for life, the first time they’re caught. It would make any athlete think twice before attempting to cheat.