Asafa Powell says 18-month ban ‘unfair’ and ‘unjust’

KINGSTON, Jamaica (Jamaica Gleaner) Former 100-metre world-record holder, Jamaican, Asafa Powell, has been given an 18-month suspension from competition, after testing positive for the banned stimulant, oxilofrine.

Powell, who was absent for the ruling, later issued a statement in which he deemed it unjust.

“This ruling is not only unfair, it is patently unjust,” Powell said in a statement.

Powell has indicated that he will be appealing the matter and he says it is hoped that the Court of Arbitration for Sports will be more reasonable in dealing with what he calls the facts of his case.

The suspension is with effect from June 21, 2013 to December 20, 2014 and the verdict was handed down at the Jamaica Conference Centre by Lennox Gayle, the chairman of the three-member Jamaica Anti-Doping Disciplinary panel which heard the matter.

The other members of the disciplinary panel were: physician Dr Jephthah Ford and former FIFA referee Peter Prendergast.

The 31-year-old Powell tested positive for oxilofrine at the Jamaican trials in June 2013.

In January, Powell blamed the positive test on a new brand of nutritional supplements given to him by Canadian Chris Xuereb, his physical trainer at the time. During the final submission on February 26, Lackston Robinson, the attorney who represented the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) told the disciplinary panel that Powell should serve the maximum sanction of two years.

Powell said in his statement that he took “a legal supplement – Ephiphany D1” which turned out to be contaminated with oxilofrine. He said that on realizing this, “my team made contact with both the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) who not only ordered samples of the supplement from the manufacturer, but also tested and confirmed our findings.”

He said the USADA has since issued a warning on its website for athletes to avoid the product.

“This is the 1st time in nearly 12 years of being in the sport and over 150 tests that I have had an adverse finding … it is for a stimulant … a stimulant that is only banned during competition and experts have declared has no performance enhancing effects,” Powell said in his statement.

“I want to reiterate that I have never knowingly taken any banned substances, I did all the necessary checks before taking Ephiphany D1 and it is my hope that The CAS will prove to be a more open and fair avenue for the review of all the facts in my case; facts and truth that were not taken into to consideration at my initial hearing.”

The panel found that Powell was negligent.

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