By NAN Staff Writer
News Americas, KINGSTON, Jamaica, Fri. Apil 11, 2014: Jamaican Olympian Asafa Powell has slammed as “unfair” and “unjust,” a decision by an independent Jamaican disciplinary panel to suspend him from competition for the next 18 months.
Powell, 31, took to Twitter yesterday to thank his supporters moments after the panel handed down the suspension and issued a statement criticizing the ruling that came less than a year after the veteran sprinter tested positive for the banned stimulant oxilofrone at Jamaica’s national trials last June.
He’d been suspended from competition since his doping case was disclosed in July.
But the former fastest man in the world claimed yesterday he took a legal supplement—Ephiphany D1 which 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 its website,” he revealed.
Powell also said his 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.”
He said as a result, the USADA has also since issued a warning on their website for athletes to avoid the product as it contains banned substances.
But the head of the three-member panel of the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission said its decision was unanimous after examining the “voluminous nature of the evidence.”
“In all the circumstances, Mr. Powell was found to be negligent, and he was at fault,” said commission chairman Lennox Gayle, adding the panel would issue a written statement explaining its decision in about a month.
The ban will begin officially on June 21, 2013 during national trials for the world championships which means Powell will be eligible to return to competition on Dec. 20, 2014.
Former teammate Sherone Simpson, a three-time Olympic medalist who tested positive for the same stimulant at the national trials in June, also was banned for 18 months.