Doping ban for Jamaican sprinter Asafa Powell
By David McFadden ,AP
April 12, 2014, 12:16 am TWN
KINGSTON, Jamaica -- A Jamaican disciplinary panel on Thursday banned former 100-meter world record holder Asafa Powell from athletics for 18 months after the veteran sprinter tested positive for a banned stimulant last June.
In the sprinting powerhouse's capital of Kingston, 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.
Powell's backdated ban begins from the date of his sample collection on June 21, 2013 during national trials for the world championships. That means he's eligible to return to competition on Dec. 20, about a month after he turns 32.
Once the top sprinter on the track, Powell lowered the world record in the 100 to 9.77 in 2005, then 9.74 in 2008 before being eclipsed by countryman Usain Bolt. Powell was the Jamaican athlete who first put Jamaica's dominating athletics prowess on center stage in the 21st century. But unlike Bolt, he could never win the big one.
The 31-year-old 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.
Powell did not attend the Thursday session, but he issued a statement through his publicist saying his defense team will appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. He described the ruling as "not only unfair, it is patently unjust."