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Asafa Powell given 18-month doping ban, says punishment is 'unjust and unfair'
The Jamaican sprint star tested positive for oxilophrine last year.

JAMAICAN SPRINTER ASAFA Powell has been handed an 18-month ban by a Jamaican anti-doping disciplinary panel today.

The 31-year-old former 100 metre record holder was revealed to have tested positive for the stimulant oxilophrine in July last year.

The sprinter has refused to accept the ruling following today’s hearing, taking to his website to complain:

“This ruling is not only unfair, it is patently unjust. Panels such as these, I understood, were assembled to allow athletes who, consciously or unconsciously come into conflict with the rules of sport, a chance at equitable redemption. Unfortunately, this was not the case.”

Powell goes on to argue that the oxilophrine in his system was present in a legal supplement he had taken, Ephiphany D1, and points out that USADA tests have confirmed the presence of oxilophrine in the supplement. Since September 2013 Ephiphany D1 has been on USADA’s list of high-risk dietary supplements.

“This is the first time in nearly 12 years of being in the sport and over 150 tests that I have had an  adverse  finding… it  is for a stimulant…  a stimulant that is only banned during competition and experts have declared has no performance enhancing effects.”

Powell added: “What has been handed down is clearly not based on the offense nor the facts surrounding it.”

Earlier, his lawyer Kwame Gordon had issued a thinly veiled hint at an appeal.

“We are disappointed at the verdict and will be taking it to the next level,” said Gordon.

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Powell has previously won two bronze medals over 100 metres at the World Championships and set the world record time of 9.74 seconds in 2008.

Two days ago, Powell’s fellow Jamaican Sherone Simpson was also given and 18-month ban for using the same stimulant while discus competitor Allison Randall took a two-year ban after a positive test for the diuretic hydrochlorothiazide

- Additional reporting © AFP, 2014

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