Asafa Powell Faces Ban

asafa powellFormer 100 meters world-record holder Asafa Powell and four other Jamaican athletes have all returned adverse analytical findings in their B samples, according to an announcement by the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission.

At the June trials, discus throwers Allison Randall and Travis Smikle and a junior athlete also tested positive for prohibited substances while Powell tested positive for the banned stimulant oxilofrine at the national trials in June this year. A three-time Olympic medalist and a member of Powell’s MVP training group, Sherone Simpson, tested positive for the same stimulant.

Smikle, a student at the University of the West Indies (UWI), will face a Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) Disciplinary Panel on December 12 and 13. The 25-year-old Randall will face a disciplinary panel on December 5 and 6 while Robinson's case will be heard on December 12 and 13. All three athletes will be represented by attorneys William Payton, Dr. Lloyd Barnett and Courtney Williams while the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) will be represented by Lackston Robinson during the hearings. All three disciplinary panels will be headed by former Director of Public Prosecutions, Kent Pantry. The case of Randall will be heard by Cuthbert Flynn, Jeremy Taylor and Dr Archibald Gordon, while the case of Robinson will be heard by Peter Prendergast, Dr. McDonald and Jeremy Taylor.

The samples of all five athletes were tested at a facility in Canada and the findings of the "B" samples would now be considered by an independent body for further consideration prior to disciplinary hearings.

Paul Doyle, the agent for Powell and Simpson, has remarked that the supplements provided by the new physical trainer, Christopher Xuereb of Canada, caused the positive tests. Meanwhile, the trainer said he didn't provide any performance enhancing drugs to Powell and Simpson and suggested he was a scapegoat.

Asafa Powell was the last man before teammate Usain Bolt to hold the 100-meter world record and helped Jamaica win the 400-meter relay gold at the 2008 Olympics. Simpson won Olympic gold in the women's 400 relay in 2004 and silver in 2012, along with silver in the 100 in 2008.

Tyson Gay and ex-100m world record holder Asafa Powell both tested positive for banned substances ahead of the Moscow championships, which also saw sanction or provisional suspension on seven athletes. A few weeks back, Jamaican sprinter Veronica Campbell-Brown had tested positive for a banned diuretic.

The doping woes of Jamaica seem to be never-ending for now. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently warned the island country of a possible ban from Rio Olympics. Portia Simpson-Miller, the prime minister of the Caribbean country, then promised the World Anti-Doping Agency that drug-testing of the Jamaican sport stars will be a top priority. This was after a former leading official of its anti-doping commission remarked there had been numerous issues of concerns and a lack of adequate testing. WADA's director general David Howman remarked that we have had several responses from Jamaica including a personal response from the prime minister and she is very interested in anti-doping issues and it shows their commitment to deal with this, and we will visit again for further discussions. Howman added there have been some gaps over the years in what Jamaica has done and we would not like to see these gaps occur again, but we have no current issues with them.


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