Lawsuit brought by sprinter Gay's ex-coach may go to arbitration
(Reuters) - A defamation lawsuit brought by sprinter Tyson Gay's ex-coach that claims the coach was falsely accused of supplying the athlete with performance-enhancing drugs has been put on hold until an arbitrator decides if the case should go to arbitration.
Jon Drummond, a former Olympic sprinter who coached the U.S. relay team at the 2012 London Games, sued the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency and Gay in May, denying that he had ever encouraged Gay or any athlete to use a banned substance.
The USADA has sought a lifetime ban against Drummond in connection with accusations he supplied Gay with performance-enhancing drugs. It has called Drummond's lawsuit a "baseless" effort to circumvent a mandatory arbitration process.
U.S. District Court Judge Reed O'Connor in Fort Worth on Wednesday said there was no question that anti-doping violations would be heard by an arbitrator, but it was unclear whether the defamation issues Drummond raised also should be heard in arbitration, court documents showed.
O'Connor issued a stay and said it would be up to an arbitrator to determine whether the defamation claims fall under the scope of anti-doping violations covered by arbitration.
Drummond, who coached Gay from 2007 to September 2012, is already arbitrating the agency's attempts to impose a lifetime ban.
Gay, the gold medal winner in the 100 and 200 meters and 4x100 meters relay at the Osaka world championships in 2007, tested positive in 2013 for a banned anabolic steroid.
He admitted his offense and co-operated with investigators and was handed a one-year ban in May, which was back-dated to June 23, 2013. Gay returned to competition in July.
Representatives of Gay and Drummond could not be reached immediately for comment. Continued...