Thursday 14 December 2017

Gillick 'genuinely shocked' by ex-training partner Gay's drug shame

David Gillick
David Gillick
Cliona Foley

Cliona Foley

IRELAND'S two-time European indoor 400m champion David Gillick says he was "genuinely shocked" to hear that America's Tyson Gay is among the latest world-class sprinters to have failed a drugs test.

"I spent a year out in Florida training with him (2011), I was quite close to him," the DSD star said. "It's weird to hear this but, in hindsight, it makes some things add up.

"I got injured and came home after a year in the same training group. I've always wondered if I just wasn't good enough or physically strong enough to do the same training as them, but now you wonder if they were on drugs."

The Ballinteer athlete (left) is still regularly tested even though he hasn't competed for over a year due to injury, but he says some of the world's top sprinters are not subjected to as rigorous a regime as Ireland's because their federations do not invest as much money in anti-doping.

"I saw Tyson being tested but I didn't see much of it with the Caribbean athletes," he said. "If your country doesn't have the resources for testing you are just not tested as much."

Gillick, who was sixth in the 400m final in the World Championships in 2009, has been battling for two years to get back on track from injury, but he said: "I'd rather having to retire because of injury rather than test positive and leave the sport with no integrity.

"It's a tiny minority that cheat, we shouldn't all be tainted by this. Two-year bans are ridiculous, it should be four years for a first offence and then lifetime bans for repeat offenders."

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