JAMAICA’S former 100 metres world record holder Asafa Powell could yet compete at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, if his appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport against an 18-month doping ban proves successful.
He has asked for his 18-month ban to be reduced to three months, arguing that he only committed a minor offence.
The CAS said in a statement that it has received an appeal from the Jamaican sprinter, who has been suspended from competition since his doping case was disclosed last July.
The 31-year-old Powell and three-time Olympic medallist Sherone Simpson tested positive for the banned stimulant oxilofrone at Jamaica’s national trials last June. They were suspended by a Jamaican disciplinary panel last month. Simpson has also asked for her suspension to be cut to three months.
“The athletes put forward that the offence committed is minor and request that the suspensions be reduced to three months,” CAS said in a statement.
Once the top sprinter on the track, Powell lowered the world record in the 100 metres to 9.77 in 2005, then 9.74 in 2008 before being eclipsed by Usain Bolt.
Powell’s backdated ban began from the date of his sample collection on 21 June, 2013, meaning he’s eligible to return to competition on 20 December, about a month after he turns 32.
Like Simpson, Powell put the blame on a newly-hired trainer, who provided him and Simpson with supplements, including one called “Epiphany D1” which lab tests later showed to contain oxilofrone.
During hearings earlier this year, Powell testified that he received nine supplements from Canadian physiotherapist Christopher Xuereb, including Epiphany D1. Powell said he started taking the capsules after he researched the supplement for up to six hours online and found no prohibited substances.
But Xuereb has said he never gave Powell or Simpson any performance-enhancing drugs and only purchased major brand vitamins. Xuereb once worked at the Toronto clinic run by Anthony Galea, a sports physician who pleaded guilty to bringing unapproved and mislabeled drugs into the US for house calls. Meanwhile, Greg Rutherford’s controversial British long jump record of 8.51 metres has been ratified, British Athletics has announced.
The Olympic champion leapt the distance at a meeting in Chula Vista, San Diego, in April, but its legitimacy was thrown into doubt when his Great Britain team-mate Chris Tomlinson claimed it was a “large foul”.
A YouTube video of the jump appeared to show Rutherford had overstepped the take-off board. British Athletics said yesterday the technical advisory group on the ratification of the jump had recommended it be declared legal.
The group said in a statement: “Having considered all the available evidence, the technical advisory group recommends that the record be ratified.”
Rutherford’s giant leap added 16cm to the record he had held jointly with Tomlinson.
The advisory group considered the field scorecard for the event, signed by a licensed USA Track and Field (USATF) official, the wind speed card, the programme/entry list and that the performance satisfied USATF rules. It was also in touch with the meeting director, who it said “responded satisfactorily to a number of questions”.
The group also took the unusual step of examining the video evidence highlighted by Tomlinson.
“In usual circumstances, we require a record application form and the appropriate support documentation,” it said.
“However, given the controversy generated via social media surrounding this performance, the group looked very carefully at the available video and photographic evidence and considered two points: 1. It was not an official video. 2. It was not taken directly in line with the take-off board.”
The group said the video evidence was “inconclusive”, so upheld the decision of the referee at the event.
Rutherford and Tomlinson competed against each other for the first time since the row at the BT Great CityGames in Manchester earlier this month, the former triumphing. Both insisted their relationship was fine.