Thu | Nov 14, 2019

Supplement from Xuereb had Oxilofrine

Published:Thursday | January 9, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Sherone Simpson arrives at the Jamaica Conference Centre, downtown Kingston for the hearing into her anti-doping violation. She is flanked by her sister, Nicollette Simpson (left), and a friend, Susan Dickenson, at the Jamaica Conference Centre. - Ian Allen/Staff Photographer

André Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter

There was no resolution yesterday as the doping violation hearing of Olympic sprinter Sherone Simpson continues into next month.

But the source of the banned stimulant Oxilofrine - a neurotransmitter support product, Epiphany D1 - was confirmed during yesterday's sitting before the Jamaica Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel at the Jamaica Conference Centre.

Three new witnesses were called to testify, but the case will resume on February 4 and 5, after yesterday's proceedings came to a close at almost 5 p.m.

At the hearing, Simpson's one-time MVP training partner, Asafa Powell, also noted that he had not recommended his former physical therapist, Chris Xuereb, to Simpson, nor did he have any knowledge that the Canadian was treating her until they were both notified that they had tested positive for Oxilofrine at last year's National Championships, while in Italy.

The 29-year-old Simpson, the 2008 Olympic 100m silver medallist, testified that she was unaware of published advisories from the World Anti-Doping Agency, IAAF and other anti-doping bodies against the usage of supplements and their dangers.

Simpson had received five different supplements, including Epiphany D1, from Xuereb, who was hired to treat Powell by both athletes' agent, Paul Doyle, during the build-up to the National Championships last year.

Three tests - one of which is yet to be confirmed - have since established the substance in the product.

Following the failed drug tests, analysis on a single sealed bottle of Epiphany D1, led by Professor Wayne McLaughlin, director at Caribbean Toxicology, University of the West Indies, Mona, using two different industry standard methods, showed that the supplement did in fact contain the stimulant Oxilofrine.

However, two separate bottles of the product were also sent to Kentucky, USA-based facility HFL Sports Science - Informed Sport, returning conflicting results.

One bottle, bearing an expiration date, did not show the presence of Oxilofrine, but a second bottle, which did not carry an expiration date, did reveal the stimulant.

Contaminated

McLaughlin, who noted that it would cost an athlete in the region of US$1,000-US$1,500 to test five supplements for prohibited substances, explained that due to the absence of regulations where the production of supplements are concerned, it is quite possible that some batches of the same product may become contaminated with banned substances produced with the same equipment.

Simpson, who spent one hour and 50 minutes on the stand yesterday, for a combined five hours and 15 minutes over the two days of the hearing, had earlier revealed under cross-examination by Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission attorney Lackston Robinson, that she showed her then coach Stephen Francis all the supplements that she received from Xuereb - after the failed test - while at the club's Italian base.

Francis, according to Simpson's testimony, then singled out Epiphany D1 as the possible source of the Oxilofrine because he had no knowledge of that product.

Simpson added that instructions were then given to search Xuereb's room in Kingston for additional bottles of the product. She underlined that she was not sure if any extra bottles of Epiphany were actually found.

Doyle, in his testimony, stated that MVP Track Club, through one of its agents, Adrian Laidlaw, then arranged to have the product tested in Miami.

Doyle continued by stating that he is yet to see the actual results, but noted that Laidlaw informed him that the test, which he believes was carried out at the Doctors Hospital in Miami, showed the stimulant present in Epiphany D1.

Doyle also rejected suggestions by Robinson that both athletes were negligent where validation of the product's legality is concerned.