KINGSTON, Jamaica (Sporting Alert) — The failed drug tests by two of the world’s leading sprinters, Asafa Powell and Tyson Gay, has left a massive void in track and field, former world 110m hurdles record holder Colin Jackson said on Sunday.
Jamaican Powell and American Gay, are amongst the top five fastest sprinters over the 100m on the all-time list, with the latter sitting joint second with 9.69 seconds and the former at fourth, at 9.72.
The two have also been active in the fight against drugs in the sport and worked hard to persuade youngsters not to give in to temptations.
Samples collected from Powell at the Jamaica championships last month showed the banned substance in his A sample, while Gay, who had an out-of-competition test, also returned a positive result.
The news of their positive tests stunned track and field supporters on Sunday and Jackson, a former World and Commonwealth Games gold medallist, said the news wasn’t good for the sport.
“These are all big names. To take Asafa Powell and Tyson Gay out leaves a big void in our sport,” the BBC Sport athletics pundit on Sunday.
“We like competition, we like the head-to-heads. It is a sad day for us all – and all those athletes who train as hard as possible in our sport.
“We’ve recovered from Ben Johnson, that was huge, and we will always recover because we have genuine fans who love the sport.”
Jackson admits that the fans will be robbed of the tightest of battles, especially between Gay and world record holder Usain Bolt of Jamaica, but remains confident that they will recover.
Powell did not make the Jamaican team to the IAAF World Championships, while Tyson Gay, who won the sprint double at the U.S. trials, withdrew from the team that will travel to Moscow.
“The fans will feel robbed but they will recover. They have to have faith because there are athletes out there trying hard to do great things cleanly,” Jackson said.
“We have to sift out the negative people and we will never be in a win-win situation.
“When you expose these people it can have an adverse effect but it is important to do so, for the future of the sport and the next generation.”