Usain Bolt has said Tyson Gay should have been “kicked out of the sport” for doping and labelled the decision to reduce the American’s ban and reinstate him as “the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard”.
Gay, who is the second fastest man in history behind Bolt after running the 100m in 9.69 seconds in 2009, tested positive for banned anabolic steroids in 2013 and was banned for one year by the United States Anti-Doping Agency after co-operating with the organisation.
He was stripped of the silver medal he won with the 4x100m relay team at the London 2012 Olympics and had his results from July 2012 wiped out. Upon returning to the sport last summer, Gay said he felt “welcomed with open arms”.
However, Bolt told the media he was not happy with Gay’s return to athletics: “I was really upset about that. He got a year just because he talked to the authorities about how it was done and who helped him. That sends the wrong message: ‘If you do it and get caught, just tell us all you know and we’ll lower your ban’. It’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. The message should be: ‘If you cheat you’re going to be kicked out of the sport’.”
Bolt is expected to line-up alongside Gay at this summer’s world championships in Beijing, the city where the Jamaican won three Olympic gold medals in 2008, but he admitted he was not relishing the prospect of racing his American rival.
“I’m not looking forward to competing against Tyson,” Bolt said. “It really bothers me. I’m not worried about him beating me, I think it’s because I respected him so much over the years. He was a competitor, kept me on my toes and he pushed me to always do my best. Then to find out that he was on drugs – it’s a bit like I think parents must feel when they have a kid who does something bad and lets them down. I feel like he let me down and he let the sport down.
“You have to drive fear into athletes, to make them think about the consequences of their actions. If they’re getting an easy penalty why would they care?”
Last month, Nike dismissed reports Gay would be added to its roster following the company’s decision to sign a sponsorship deal with another sprinter reinstated from a drugs ban, Justin Gatlin.