Lawsuit by Gay's ex-coach 'baseless': USADA

Thu May 22, 2014 5:59pm EDT
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(Reuters) - A lawsuit filed by Tyson Gay's former coach Jon Drummond, who claims he was falsely accused of supplying the sprinter with performance-enhancing drugs, is 'baseless', the United States Anti-Doping Agency said on Thursday.

The lawsuit comes as USADA is seeking a lifetime ban against Drummond for supplying the joint second fastest man in history with performance-enhancing drugs.

"Mr. Drummond's baseless lawsuit against the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency is an effort to circumvent the mandatory arbitration process established to protect the rights of all clean athletes, coaches and the integrity of competition," USADA spokesperson Annie Skinner said in a statement to Reuters.

"Under the rules which were approved by athletes, the U.S. Olympic Committee and all U.S. sport federations, Mr. Drummond will have the opportunity to have his case heard by a panel of independent arbitrators, who will ultimately weigh all evidence presented and determine the outcome of the case.

"As in numerous previous cases, we will ask the court to dismiss Mr. Drummond's lawsuit in favor of the well-established arbitration process."

Neither Gay nor his agent responded to requests for comment.

Drummond, a former Olympic sprinter who coached the U.S. relay team at the 2012 London Games, filed a defamation lawsuit on Wednesday against Gay, USADA and USADA chief Travis Tygart.

"Mr. Drummond categorically denies ever having encouraged Tyson Gay, or any other athlete, to use any banned substance," Mark Whitburn, one of Drummond's lawyers, said in a statement emailed to Reuters on Thursday.

"Mr. Drummond has been a vocal and active proponent of clean competition throughout his career ... allegations that Jon Drummond has ever encouraged any athlete to use banned substances are false and defamatory.   Continued...

Tyson Gay of the U.S. gestures after winning in the 100m event of the Lausanne Diamond League meeting in Lausanne, July 4, 2013.    REUTERS/Denis Balibouse