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Asafa, Sherone sue supplement manufacturer

Published:Friday | February 27, 2015 | 2:23 AMLeighton Levy, Gleaner Writer
Sherone Simpson (left) and Asafa Powell. - File

Track and field magazine Athletics Weekly (AW) is reporting that Doyle Management is to sue Epiphany D1 for US$8 million (J$928 million) on behalf of Jamaican sprinters Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson.

Both athletes were banned in 2013 after they tested positive for the stimulant oxilofrine. The bans were reduced to six months after the athletes appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) in 2014.

According to AW, during the CAS hearing it was argued that Epiphany D1 manufacturers had failed to specify in their listed ingredients that oxilofrine was included. “We found out later that the supplement company actually put something else on the label that they didn’t put in the product,” Paul Doyle, the athletes’ agent and the director at Doyle Management told the magazine.

“They put on the label Acacia Rigidula, which is a natural plant that grows in Texas and has a sort of stimulant property just as caffeine would have, but they didn’t actually put that in there, they put oxilofrine in instead,” he said.

The supplement was tested by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and they confirmed that the banned drug was in that particular product. Epiphany D1 has now been placed on the US Anti-Doping Agency’s High Risk Dietary Supplement List.

Doyle Management has since filed a demand letter to Epiphany D1, after which the company’s website was closed down, making the product no longer available to buy, despite having been offered for purchase during the appeal process, AW reports.

 

Doyle said the suit is to help clear the names of the athletes who before then had clean performance records but whose reputations were now tarnished.

“The only situation for redemption for Asafa is to sue the supplement company and that’s what we’ve done; we’re suing them on behalf of Asafa and Sherone for over $8 million because to be honest the damage is stronger than eight million dollars in the way that he (Powell) has been affected, this will be with him for the rest of his life and that is what kills me inside,” said Doyle. “With me, I get over it.

As I go on in my career that just becomes one small bit of my history, but Asafa Powell is always just Asafa Powell and that’s going to stay with him for the rest of his life and that’s wrong. This company has literally ruined his life and all for what?”

Doyle also said the original punishment given to the sprinters was overly severe, describing the 18-month sentence set by the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) as being “complete bogus” and calling the organization inept.  It took more than 10 months to start the hearing.

He also blames the IAAF. “I have to blame the IAAF a lot in this too because they never stepped in,” Doyle said. “The rules state that if a hearing isn’t held within 90 days then the IAAF shall step in and take over the case and appoint it to a single arbitrator … after 90 days they (IAAF) should have stepped in and said ‘listen you are taking too long you’re not organised, this isn’t going the way we want it to go, let us step in, appoint a single arbitrator to hear the case’,” he said.