Powell to know fate in April

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iol spt feb27 Powell-hearing REUTERS Jamaican sprint star Asafa Powell must wait until April 10 to learn if he can resume his career this year after submissions were completed in a doping hearing. Picture: Reuters/Gilbert Bellamy

Kingston, Jamaica – Jamaican sprint star Asafa Powell must wait until April 10 to learn if he can resume his career this year after submissions were completed Wednesday in a doping hearing.

The three-member Jamaica Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel heard final arguments from attorneys representing Powell and the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) completed submissions in the case today.

Powell, a former world 100-metre champion, and training partner Sherone Simpson tested positive for the banned stimulant oxilofrine after the 100m final at the Jamaican national championships last June 21.

Powell, who set a world record in the 100 metres in 2008 with a time of 9.74 seconds, blames Canadian physical therapist Chris Xuereb for the positive test, saying he provided the nutritional supplement, Epiphany D1, that resulted in the positive test.

JADCO lawyer Lackston Robinson pushed for a two-year competition ban for Powell, whose attorney, Kwame Gordon, asked for leniency.

Robinson said Powell's blind trust of Xuereb, whom he had known for less than two months, was “not only significant negligence but gross negligence” and cited discrepancies in testimony by Powell, Simpson and their manager, Paul Doyle.

A bottle of Epiphany D1 submitted for testing to a US lab by Doyle showed traces of oxilofrine while one bought by the lab from the Epiphany D1 website did not test positive for the same substance.

“The one that Mr. Doyle submitted had a rock-like substance this one didn't have,” Robinson said. “Mr. Doyle's own was sealed, just the cap. This one the entire bottle was sealed and then the cotton ball placement was different with this sample and was on the top of the capsules.”

Robinson said JADCO does not accept that Epiphany D1 contained the substance oxilofrine found in Powell's sample last June.

“Mr. Powell in his evidence suggested he took very little care in ensuring what he was taking was not contaminated,” Robinson said.

Gordon says JADCO has no scientific evidence to suggest the banned substance was not in the bottles used by Powell and Simpson, who learns her fate April 8.

Robinson argued that given the information from the base sample tested in the US lab, JADCO does not need more evidence.– Sapa-AFP

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