International Athletics

Gatlin beats Gay on comeback

2014-07-03 22:16
Justin Gatlin (AFP)

Lausanne - American Justin Gatlin trumped Tyson Gay on the latter's return from a one-year doping ban, clocking a blistering 9.80 seconds to win the 100m at the Diamond League meeting in Lausanne on Thursday.

Gay, running in lane two inside US champion Mike Rodgers with Gatlin in four, got off to a clean start.

Head down, he powered into his drive phase, but Gatlin had the measure of Gay and put in an impressive second half of the race to steam home, only six sprinters having gone quicker. Gay clocked 9.93.

"I'm happy to be back, back on the circuit," said Gay. "It feels like I didn't miss a beat. Of course, I was worried about the reception I'd get.

"But I feel very welcomed by my fellow athletes and fans. It's great to make a return with 9.93.

"At this stage, I'm not very clear about where I will get to compete this season. But my goal is to compete as much as I can and try to remain healthy."

World athletics' governing body, the IAAF, announced last week that it would not appeal the reduced one-year sanction for doping served by Gay.

Gay was banned in June 2013 after testing positive for a banned anabolic steroid in two out-of-competition tests.

His ban, which was reduced from two years by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) due to Gay's cooperation, ended on June 23.

And the IAAF said that it would not appeal the reduced sanction, calling it "appropriate under the circumstances and in accordance with IAAF Rules".

Gay, who is not allowed to talk about his doping case, admitted to feeling nervous before the race, run in perfect windless conditions and balmy temperatures at the Stade de la Pontaise.

"There were definitely nerves there, first race back!" said the 31-year-old. "I was a little bit nervous but got over that pretty quickly.

"Knowing what I've been through, I've been doing it for nine years professionally, I had to go back to old habits and focusing on myself.

"I think with a few more races, my time will come back down."

Ironically, winner Gatlin has also served a doping ban.

Having won Olympic 100m gold in the Athens Games in 2004, he served a four-year ban between 2006-10 before coming back to win bronze in London eight years later.

"I'm really happy to have put together a season best and I'm really on track to be running fast," said Gatlin, who said he felt he breezed the race.

"Tonight was an easy run and I expected more pressure from the guys, but my body feels great and I'm injury free so I'm running fast."

Third-placed Rodgers (9.98), the newly-crowned US champion, has also fallen foul of drug testers, sitting it out for nine months in 2011 after failing a doping test.



Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
  • Blitz
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
  • SS1
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
  • SS2
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
  • SS3
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Live scoring

Most Read


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

Byrne: Israel Folau a 'freak'
LIVE: New Zealand 14-3 Tonga
England World Cup coaches barred
Lancaster comes out guns blazing
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


Take a photographical trip down memory lane and remind yourself of how the Springboks fared in their five previous Rugby World Cup campaigns. In addition, pick your all-time Springbok Rugby World Cup Dream Team and you could win R3 000!

Latest blogs

How much of a runner are you?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.