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Powell pleads for reduced ban

Asafa Powell

Asafa Powell

KINGSTON – Former 100-metre world record holder, Asafa Powell, has asked for his 18-month doping ban to be reduced to three months, arguing that he only committed a minor offence.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) said in a statement that it has received an appeal from the Jamaican sprinter, who has been suspended from competition since his doping case was disclosed last July.

The 31-year-old Powell and three-time Olympic medallist, Sherone Simpson, tested positive for the banned stimulant oxilofrine at Jamaica’s national trials last June. They were suspended by a Jamaican disciplinary panel last month.

Simpson has also asked for her suspension to be cut to three months.

“The athletes put forward that the offence committed is minor and request that the suspensions be reduced to three months,” CAS said in a statement yesterday.

Once the top sprinter on the track, Powell lowered the world record in the 100 to 9.77 in 2005 then to 9.74 in 2008 before being eclipsed by Usain Bolt.

Powell’s back-dated ban began from the date of his sample collection on June 21, 2013, meaning he is eligible to return to competition on December 20, about a month after he turns 32.

Like Simpson, Powell put the blame on a newly hired trainer who provided him and Simpson with supplements, including one called “Epiphany D1”, which lab tests later showed to contain oxilofrone.

During hearings earlier this year, Powell testified that he received nine supplements from Canadian physiotherapist Christopher Xuereb, including Epiphany D1. Powell said he started taking the capsules after he and a friend researched the supplement for up to six hours online and found no prohibited substances.

But Xuereb has said he never gave Powell or Simpson any performance-enhancing drugs and only purchased major brand vitamins. Xuereb once worked at the Toronto clinic run by Anthony Galea, a sports physician who pleaded guilty to bringing unapproved and mislabelled drugs into the United States for house calls.

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