Powell Claims Innocence Before Doping Commission

Former 100-metre world record holder Asafa Powell told a Jamaican disciplinary panel that he didn’t disclosed to a doping control officer about most of the supplements he was taking as the products were new to him and he could not recall their names.

The 31-year-old sprinter made this comment while testifying before a three-member Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) panel. Powell, who lowered the 100m world record to 9.74 seconds in 2008, and his attorneys, will try to explain why the sprinter tested positive for the banned stimulant Oxilofrine. Powell blamed his newly-hired physiotherapist Canadian Christopher Xuereb who provided them with supplement regimes. Powell’s former teammate Sherone Simpson, a three-time Olympic medalist, also tested positive for the same stimulant at the Jamaican national trials in June.

Powell and Simpson are among five Jamaican athletes who failed drugs tests at the national championships besides Discus throwers Allison Randall and Traves Smikle and high-jumper Demar Robinson. Powell was the last man to hold the individual 100m world record before his record was broken by compatriot Usain Bolt in 2008. Asafa Powell later helped Jamaica in winning the 4x100m relay gold at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

Powell testified that he received nine supplements from Xuereb, including Ephiphany D1, which laboratory tests later found to contain Oxilofrine. Powell remarked he started using Epiphany and other new supplements after he and a friend researched them extensively online and found no prohibited substances. He also said he also had the go-ahead from agent Paul Doyle, who Powell testified had recommended Christopher Xuereb. Agent Doyle has said Powell was referred to Xuereb through other physiotherapists who Doyle’s clients had worked with in the past.

Powell also testified that he quickly became good friends with Xuereb and remarked he trusted Xuereb so much that he invited him to live in his home. Powell said he took four Epiphany D1 capsules at the suggestion of Xuereb and did not tell the doping officer about all the new supplements, only listing three on his declaration form. Powell said he was too excited and couldn’t remember their names while filling the declaration form. Powell was accused by JADCO attorney Lackston Robinson Of being Significantly negligent after hearing the excuse offered by Powell that the thrill of attending the trials caused him to forget many of the supplements’ names.

Meanwhile, Xuereb has claimed that he didn’t provided any performance enhancing drugs to Powell and Simpson and only purchased major brand vitamins. In July last year, Xuereb said both athletes are clearly looking for a scapegoat and aid Powell was taking a supplement that he did not tell him about.

In another development, Sherone Simpson, the Jamaican sprinter who won a silver medal in the 4x100m relay at London 2012, has put the blame on a contaminated supplement she believed was clean for her positive test for the stimulant Oxilofrine. Simpson, speaking on the opening day of a hearing into her case by a disciplinary panel of Jamaica’s anti-doping commission (JADCO) in Kingston, said she had spent several hours researching the supplement Epiphany D1, which she said was given to her by her trainer, Chris Xuereb.

The hearing of Powell’s case was adjourned until February 12.

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