Rupp wins 10,000 at nationals amid doping allegations
EUGENE, Ore. (AP) Galen Rupp hardly appeared distracted Thursday night as he easily won his seventh straight 10,000-meter title at the U.S. championships amid allegations that coach Alberto Salazar encouraged him and others to skirt anti-doping rules.
The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency is launching an investigation into the allegations.
Rupp pulled away with a little more than two laps remaining and gave the crowd a thumbs-up sign before crossing the finish line in 28 minutes, 11.61 seconds on a sweltering evening.
He found himself at the center of a controversy after story by ProPublica and BBC earlier this month contained contentions from former Salazar assistant Steve Magness and a former Salazar runner that Salazar skirted the rules. Salazar responded on the eve of nationals by publishing a 12,000-word letter online disputing the allegations, saying the Oregon Project he leads "will never permit doping."
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.
Tyson Gay took a big gulp of water as he glanced to his left and then back to his right before stepping into the starting block.
He hardly recognizes any of these sprinters anymore. The game changed that much while he was gone.
Gay overcame his nerves, just not his training partner, in advancing through the first round of the 100 meters at the U.S. championships on a hot and humid Thursday night.
The 32-year-old Gay was second in his heat behind Remontay McClain, one of the new faces to burst on the scene. McClain finished in 9.82 seconds to hold off Gay, who's still rounding back into shape after returning last summer from a one-year suspension for doping.
"It was weird maybe weird is not the right word going against the group of guys I'm running with now," Gay said. "When I went into the back, I saw all these new faces. It's just different, man. I'm trying to get used to new faces.
"It's a different era for me."
He knows McClain well enough, being his training partner and all. Gay will soon get to know Trayvon Bromell well, too, since the up-and-coming sprinter from Baylor keeps flying down the track. Bromell posted the second fastest time of the night.
Taking all the action in from the sideline was Justin Gatlin, who's saving his energy for the 200 since he already has an automatic bye into the world championships in the 100 courtesy of his Diamond League title last season.
Gay wasn't sure how he would be treated in light of his doping offense. He received a one-year ban that started June 23, 2013, for testing positive for steroid precursor DHEA a penalty that was reduced after he provided information that led to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency's case against his former coach, Jon Drummond. Gay, the American record-holder in the 100, also accepted a loss of results dating to July 15, 2012, which included the 400 relay team being stripped of its silver medal from the London Olympics.
When his name was announced to the crowd at Hayward Field, Gay received some cheers.
"When you're honest and man up to the mistakes you've made, I believe they forgive you," Gay said. "But I was nervous (for the race). No lie. I was just nervous. You are in your hotel all day, just waiting to get it over with."
Carmelita Jeter had the top time in the women's 100, finishing in 10.87 seconds, which was just barely ahead of Jasmine Todd. Jeter is working her way back from a quadriceps injury. Asked how she was feeling as she sped out of the mixed zone, Jeter simply said, "Good. Feeling good."