A shot at redemption for Lexington native Tyson Gay ended as another chapter in the United States’ recent struggles in the 4-by-100 meter relay event.
Gay, 34, ran the third leg for Friday’s third-place finishing relay team, which was disqualified after a baton handoff between first- and second-leg runners Mike Rodgers and Justin Gatlin was ruled to have happened outside of the proper exchange zone.
“I couldn’t even shed a tear, I was so shocked,” Gay said of the disqualification.
Draped in American flags, Gay and his three relay teammates had almost made an entire lap around the track in celebration of winning the bronze medal before they looked at the scoreboard and saw “DQ.”
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“I had no idea,” he said. “I was praying I didn’t step on the line.”
Gay was part of the men’s 4-by-100 relay team that won silver at the 2012 Games in London. The entire team was stripped of its medals after Gay tested positive for an anabolic steroid.
A medal on Friday would have been the first official Olympic medal for Gay, who has won four medals at the IAAF World Championships. He said he was hoping to “bring one home for Kentucky.”
“It’s just frustrating that we get disqualified for something so simple,” he said.
The United States appealed Friday’s disqualification but that appeal was denied by the sport’s governing body, the International Association of Athletics Federations, according to the Washington Post
“It seems like we have a dark cloud over us that we can’t shake,” Gay said. “It’s ridiculous.”