Former 100 metres world record holder Asafa Powell was banned for 18 months by a Jamaican anti-doping disciplinary panel on Thursday after he tested positive for a banned substance last year.
The Jamaican sprinter, 31, tested positive for the stimulant oxilophrine at last year’s national championships and the ban has been backdated to June 21 2013 – the day he provided the sample. His ban will end on Dec 20.
Powell said he would lodge an appeal against the decision. “This ruling is not only unfair, it is patently unjust,” he said in a statement.
The chairman of the three-member disciplinary panel, Lennox Gayle, said: “The panel arrived at a unanimous decision, and it is a decision that in all the circumstances Mr. Powell was found to be negligent and that he was at fault, especially in light of the fact he (is) an elite athlete.
“This is the first 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,” said Powell.
“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 offence. Instead, nine months later, what has been handed down is clearly not based on the offence nor the facts surrounding it. I want to reiterate that I have never knowingly taken any banned substances.”
Powell’s sanction comes two days after his former training partner Sherone Simpson received an 18-month suspension from the same panel for the same substance.
Another Jamaican, Olympic discus thrower Allison Randall, was also handed a 2-year ban for using the diuretic hydrochlorothiazide on Tuesday. Powell, who missed last year’s world championships as a result of his failed test, had testified in January that Canadian physical trainer Chris Xuereb provided him with nine supplements, including Epiphany D1. Xuereb denied providing performance enhancing drugs and said the sprinters should take responsibility for their failed dope tests.