Former 100-meter world record holder Asafa Powell has been suspended for 18-months by the Jamaican Anti-Doping disciplinary panel. Powell tested positive for oxilofrine at the Jamaican National Championships in June 2013.
Powell, like former teammate Sherone Simpson, blamed the positive test on a new supplement added to their training regiment by trainer Chris Xuereb. Both received their suspensions as the panel believed there was negligence on their part when it came to researching and disclosing the stimulant.
Powell is 31 years old and last competed at the Lausanne Diamond League meeting on July 4, where he ran 9.88 for the 100-meter dash. He will be eligible to return to competition on Dec. 20, 2014.
Update 12:30 CT - Powell issued the following statement on his official website:
"A short while ago, the independent disciplinary panel exploring the circumstances under which my samples tested positive for the stimulant oxilofrine handed down a sanction. I will confirm that the panel handed down an 18-month suspension.
This ruling is not only unfair, it is patently unjust. Panels such as these, I understood, were assembled to allow athletes who, consciously or unconsciously come into conflict with the rules of sport, a chance at equitable redemption. Unfortunately, this was not the case.
As an athlete, I took a legal supplement—Ephiphany D1. As it turns out, that supplement was contaminated with oxilofrine. My team commissioned two private laboratories that confirmed that oxilofrine was present in the supplements, despite it not being listed as an ingredient on the bottle nor on it’s website. I would also like to share that upon realizing that the supplement contained oxilofrine 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. The USADA has also since issued a warning on their website for athletes to avoid the product as it contains banned substances. http://www.usada.org/forms.asp?uid=3588
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 that is only banned during competition and experts have declared has no performance enhancing effects. Sanctions for a stimulant and this kind of infraction usually range from public warnings to a ban of three months, six months in the most extreme cases; I was and am still more than prepared to accept a sanction that is in line with the offense. Instead; 9 months later; what has been handed down is clearly not based on the offense nor the facts surrounding it.
My team has begun preparations for an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland. 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 the were not taken into to consideration at my initial hearing."