Tyson Gay says he should not be described as a drugs cheat

Tyson Gay
Gay is the joint second-fastest man ever over 100m

Sprinter Tyson Gay says he should not be described as a drugs cheat.

The American, 32, served a one-year ban after testing positive for a banned anabolic steroid in 2013.

But he says he didn't cheat, insisting: "If I would have made a decision to intentionally do something to hurt the sport, I wouldn't have come back."

Gay will face Justin Gatlin and Asafa Powell, who have also failed drug tests, in the men's 100m at Thursday's Diamond League in Lausanne.

"When you put key words or a syringe by somebody's name, it manipulates someone's mind to believe you intentionally tried to do something and get away with it," added Gay. "That wasn't the case."

Gay was suspended after reportedly admitted using a cream containing testosterone and human growth hormone.

He was banned for one year, rather than the usual two, after providing the United States Anti-Doping Agency with evidence that allowed it to ban his former coach, Jon Drummond, for eight years.

Gay said he had put his "trust in someone and was let down".

Speaking to the BBC's World Service, he said: "If I could do everything all over again, I definitely would."

Six-time Olympic gold medal winner Usain Bolt said in April that Gay should have been banned for life.

But Gay, the joint second-fastest man ever over 100m and a former 100m and 200m world champion, is undeterred.

"You answer to yourself," said Gay, who returned last summer and ran 9.87 to become US champion last month.

"The true fans are understanding of what I've been through. For them to look up to me still, that means a lot."

Fastest 100m runs of 2015
9.74 secs - Justin Gatlin (US)
9.81 secs - Asafa Powell (Jam)
9.84 secs - Trayvon Bromell (US)
9.86 secs - Keston Bledman (Tri)
9.86 secs - Jimmy Vicaut (Fra)

Gay is up against compatriot Gatlin, who has served two doping bans, and Jamaican Powell, who served a six-month ban after failing a drugs test in 2013, in Lausanne on Thursday.

Gatlin has run the fastest 100m of the year - 9.74 seconds while Powell ran a season's best 9.81 at the Diamond League in Paris on Saturday.

US sprinter Mike Rodgers, who was banned for nine months after testing positive for a banned stimulant, will also run in Lausanne.

Bolt, 28, is currently sidelined with a pelvic injury a doubt for the World Championships in Beijing at the end of August.

Organisers of London's Anniversary Games - at the Olympic Stadium from 24-26 July - are hopeful the Jamaican will run at their event.

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