Mon | Nov 30, 2020

Asafa got double dose for 100m

Published:Wednesday | January 15, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Asafa Powell's agent, Paul Doyle, arriving at the Jamaica Conference Centre for yesterday's Jamaica Anti-doping Disciplinary Panel hearing. - Ricardo Makyn/Staff Photographer

Leighton Levy, Gleaner Writer

Former 100-metre world record holder Asafa Powell said he took four Epiphany D1 tablets on the instruction of trainer Chris Xuereb, on the day he raced at the National Championships in June 2013.

Powell said he took the tablets at about 6:30 a.m. more than 12 hours before he ran in the 100 metre semi-finals at the National Stadium at about 7:15 p.m. and the final two hours later.

He finished seventh in the final.

Powell was responding to questions from Lackston Robinson, the lawyer representing the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO), before an independent panel convened to hear his case. Powell was among five athletes who returned adverse findings at the national championships. He tested positive for the banned stimulant oxilofrine. Powell told the panel he usually took two tablets each morning prior to the day when he was advised to take four.

Powell, who turned 31 last November, is appearing before a panel comprised of Lennox Gayle, who chairs the panel; Peter Prendergast and Dr Japheth Ford. He said Xuereb introduced him to Epiphany D1 on June 6 after he (Xuereb) had returned from an overnight trip to Canada.

SUPPLEMENT SEEMED LEGAL

Powell said after he was given the Epiphany D1, he and a friend, Gregory Plummer, whom he described as a friend who likes to research, helped him search the Internet using Google for anything they could find on the supplement and linked it back to the list of banned substances on the World Anti-Doping Agency website. They also researched the Epiphany D1 website. At the end of it all, he concluded that Epiphany D1 was a legal supplement.

But even before they did that, Powell testified he asked Xuereb to send everything he had bought for Asafa to take to Powell's agent, Paul Doyle. The search went on into the next day, Powell said, and he spoke with his agent Paul Doyle via BlackBerry Messenger and by a telephone call, who assured Powell, saying that everything seemed normal.

Powell told the panel he met Xuereb because he asked his agent to get him a trainer, and he sent Xuereb, whom he said he learned to trust over a period of about a month. Xuereb had won his trust since he was the person Doyle sent.

Xuereb treated him with massages when he first arrived and he got excited about the work Xuereb was doing after he started to train better. Eventually, he said they became good friends.

However, in July when he was advised by email about the positive test, he had no idea what caused it.

"My first impression was Chris," he told the panel. "Chris was the only new thing in my life."