Sat | Dec 15, 2018

'I rely on Paul Doyle' - Powell did not tell coach about new supplements

Published:Wednesday | January 15, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Asafa Powell speaking with Danielle Chai, a member of his legal team, during yesterday's opening day of the Jamaica Anti-doping Disciplinary Panel hearing at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston. - Ricardo Makyn/Staff Photographer

 André Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter

Signing autographs for Italian police and driving squad cars aside, former 100-metre world record holder, Asafa Powell, testified yesterday that he did not tell his former coach, Stephen Francis, about nine new supplements that he received from Canadian physical therapist Chris Xuereb because it was never a requirement.

Powell, 31, also admitted that he failed to list the supplements which he had been taking for approximately three weeks to doping control officers because he simply could not remember their names, adding that he spent over six hours researching the products, which included Epiphany D1.

The revelations were made during yesterday's opening sitting of the two-time World Championships 100m bronze medallist's hearing into the presence of the banned stimulant, oxilofrine in his system from last year's National Senior Championships at the Jamaica Conference Centre.

Several tests have shown that the substance, oxilofrine, while not listed on the product label, is in fact present in Epiphany D1.

Powell, who testified for over three and a half hours yesterday, contradicted statements made by Francis that he had breached MVP Track Club rules by taking supplements that were not approved by him. Francis blasted Powell; his agent Paul Doyle; and another athlete, Sherone Simpson, who also tested positive for oxilofrine, ultimately leading to both athletes leaving the club.

Francis had recommended the supplements Cell Tech, Nitro Tech, Megaman Sport and Vitamin C, which Powell said he was taking inconsistently for years before switching totally to Xuereb's regimen in the build-up to the National Championships.

"I don't normally consult my coach. We have a very large club, and the coach (Stephen Francis) tends to a lot of athletes. I rely on Paul (Doyle), I trust him," Powell said during cross-examination from Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission attorney Lackston Robinson.

While testifying during Simpson's hearing last week, Doyle had also laughed off the presence of any such club policy, stating: "To say that there was actually a rule would be laughable."

Powell also contested suggestions that Francis disapproved of Xuereb's appointment by Doyle noting, "Coach (Francis) did not disapprove. Coach didn't seem to have a problem, he seemed excited to have Chris (Xuereb) there."

'DON'T KNOW THE CODE'

However, when asked by Robinson if he was aware of the Word Anti-Doping Agency Code (WADA), Powell, who has been competing professionally since 2002, said: "I don't know the (WADA) code. I know there is a list that you are supposed to check. I don't know the code. I see the list when I am checking for something. I don't know the list off the top of my head."

Simpson also gave a brief testimony yesterday, with Doyle expected to be among the witnesses called at today's continuation.

Powell was supported by his parents, William and Cislyn Powell; brother, Donovan Powell; his publicist, Tara Playfair; along with friends Andre Hilton, Andre Palmer and Gary Gregg.

Powell is being represented by Kwame Gordon and Danielle Chai.

Earlier in his testimony Powell shared that he was allowed to drive a police car after he was interrogated in Italy and also that he was asked for autographs and pictures.