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Seb Coe, IAAF to explore Tyson Gay case

Seb Coe

British Lord Seb Coe, chairman of the British Olympic Association, speaks during the signing of his autobiography “Running my life” in London, on November 15, 2012. AFP PHOTO/ANDREW COWIE (Photo credit should read ANDREW COWIE/AFP/Getty Images)

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Seb Coe, who is vice president of track and field’s international governing body (IAAF), said the organization wants to know what “significant assistance” U.S. sprinter Tyson Gay gave the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency to reduce a potential two-year ban to one year for failed drug tests.

“We (the IAAF) haven’t had the opportunity to explore it properly,” Coe told Reuters TV on Monday. “We would need to know what ‘significant assistance’ meant. And it is for our anti-doping teams at our headquarters in Monaco and the anti-doping board to decide if the sanction is appropriate.”

USADA announced Gay’s one-year ban on May 2, and he has returned his Olympic 4x100m relay silver medal to the U.S. Olympic Committee.

“For providing substantial assistance to USADA; Gay was eligible for up to a three-quarter reduction of the otherwise applicable two-year sanction under the [World Anti-Doping Agency] Code (or a six-month suspension),” USADA said in its press release. “Gay’s sanction is subject to appeal by the IAAF and by the World Anti-Doping Agency.”

The IAAF has already said the International Olympic Committee will determine if Gay’s entire U.S. Olympic 4x100m relay team will be stripped of their silver medals from the London Games.

Gay “provided substantial assistance as outlined in the WADA Code including being interviewed on several occasions by USADA and providing all of the products he was using at the time of his positive tests,” USADA said.

The World Anti-Doping Agency Code defines “substantial assistance” as the following:

A Person providing Substantial Assistance must: (1) fully disclose in a signed written statement all information he or she possesses in relation to anti-doping rule violations, and (2) fully cooperate with the investigation and adjudication of any case related to that information, including, for example, presenting testimony at a hearing if requested to do so by an Anti-Doping Organization or hearing panel. Further, the information provided must be credible and must comprise an important part of any case which is initiated or, if no case is initiated, must have provided a sufficient basis on which a case could have been brought.

More from the code on “substantial assistance:"

Factors to be considered in assessing the importance of the Substantial Assistance would include, for example, the number of individuals implicated, the status of those individuals in the sport, whether a scheme involving Trafficking under Article 2.7 or administration under Article 2.8 is involved and whether the violation involved a substance or method which is not readily detectible in Testing.

Gay, 31 and the American 100m record holder, is eligible to compete again June 23 and is expected to return in July.
“This is not just about athletes proving or testing positive, and then once they’ve tested positive, starting to talk and help agencies,” Coe told Reuters. “We would rather the athletes were helping, assist the agencies before they were tested or proven positive. For me, that’s quite important.”

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