Asafa Powell: Jamaican Sprinter’s Positive TestBy: Emily Greene - January 15, 2014
It was a busy Tuesday for Jamaican sprinter Asafa Powell. The former 100-meter record holder met with the Jamaican disciplinary panel to talk about testing positive for the banned stimulant oxilofrone.
Powell said that because many of the supplements were new to him he couldn’t recall their names, and because the sprinter couldn’t recollect, he didn’t tell a doping control officer about all of the supplements he was taking.
In front of the three-member panel of the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission, Powell blamed Canadian physical therapist, Christopher Xuereb, who he had just hired, for providing him with the nine new supplements. One of those supplements “Ephiphany D1″ was found to contain oxilofrone after it was tested by a lab. Powell said only after he and a friend researched all of the supplements online and found that they contained no prohibited substances did he start taking Ephiphany D1 and the eight other supplements.
When asked by JADCO attorney Lackston Robinson why he didn’t list all of the supplements, Powell said, ”Sir, these were new supplements to me, so due to the excitement of the trials, I couldn’t remember.” Powell added he only took a few supplements off and on before meeting Xuereb.
The Jamaican sprinter also testified that his agent Paul Doyle also gave him the go-ahead to use the supplements and added that Doyle recommended Xuereb. Doyle said that Xuereb was recommended to Powell by other physiotherapists that many of Doyle’s clients have worked with before.
Xuereb, who is also getting the blame for Powell’s former teammate Sherone Simpson’s recent positive test for the same stimulant, says he didn’t give either athlete “any performance-enhancing drugs and only purchased major brand vitamins.”
Powell found out he tested positive for the banned stimulant while at a Jamaican training camp in Italy and quickly he and Doyle became suspicious of Xuereb. Powell testified, ”At first, we had no idea what caused the positive test or where it came from. But Chris was the only new thing in my life.”
The former record holder also testified that he wasn’t aware of the doping control rules, nor had he ever attended a seminar in Jamaica or abroad. He said that while he knew he was responsible for what he put in his body, if he didn’t know something he would rely on his coaches and agents for help and answers.
The sprinter took to his Twitter (as you do) thanking fans for their prayers and support.
Powell also responded to many people on Twitter wishing him well during his proceedings on Tuesday.
In 2008 Powell lowered the world record in the 100-meter to 9.74.