Powell, Simpson Look To Sample B Test

Jamaica's Sherone Simpson, l, at the Penn Relays in April 2013. (Hayden Roger Celestin image)
News Americas, KINGSTON, Jamaica, Weds. July 24, 2013: Jamaican Olympic sprint medalists Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson say they are pinning their careers now on the results of a second requested test.

In their first official media interview Tuesday night, both reportedly again expressed shock at news earlier this month that they had failed the June drug tests, according to the Jamaica Gleaner.

Speaking together at a law office in Kingston, Jamaica in the presence of two attorneys, their track club president and a publicist, Powell said, according to the Gleaner. “I was just shocked by the news.”

“At first I thought it was joke, you know, I thought I was being pranked!” Powell was quoted as saying. “Because that was the first something like that has ever happened; I was confused after and just in disbelief.”

Still the world’s former fastest man says he’s been doing a lot of thinking but has “never thought about it (retiring).”

Simpson broke down in tears in the interview, according to the Gleaner, saying she too was “shocked” when she received a phone call in Madrid at 1:30 a.m. informing her of the test findings.

“I had to ask (Jamaica Anti Doping Commission chairman) Dr (Herb) Elliott if he was sure that he had the right name. To be honest, I cannot remember what happened after that,” Simpson, the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games silver medalist, was quoted by the paper as saying.

Powell and Simpson said in statements on July 14th that they tested positive for the banned stimulant oxilofrine at the Jamaican national championships in June. Oxilofrine, also known as methylsynephrine, is a stimulant that can be found in weight-loss supplements, Christiane Ayotte, head of the INRS-Institut Armand-Frappier doping lab, a facility accredited by the World Anti-Doping Agency, told the Globe and Mail recently.

Both athletes, meanwhile, declined to speak on their new coach, Chris Xuereb, who Powell’s agent has blamed for the results.

Xuereb has been described as an assistant physiotherapist who has worked off and on for several years at the Institute of Sports Medicine and Wellness Centre in Toronto and was a long-time employee of a Toronto sports medicine clinic operated by Dr. Anthony Galea, who pleaded guilty in 2011 to importing “misbranded” drugs, including human growth hormone, into the United States, according to the Globe and Mail.

Instead, Powell and Simpon said they are going to await the results of a B sample. They are both potentially facing many months, perhaps years in suspensions, pending “B” sample tests results.

“I have requested that my B sample be tested and I await the results. Should this sample return adverse results, my team and I hope that the hearings will happen as fast as possible so as to allow me to return to my team, to once again represent my country and to make my family, friends and fans proud,” Powell added.