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'No significant advantage' - Biochemist testifies on day two of Powell hearing

Published:Thursday | January 16, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Former world 100 metres record holder Asafa Powell at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston yesterday on day two of his Jamaica Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel hearing. - Ian Allen/Staff Photographer

 André Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter

Testifying at Asafa Powell's Jamaica Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel hearing yesterday, biochemist Professor Wayne McLaughlin stated that the embattled sprinter gained no significant advantage while competing with banned stimulants at last year's National Championships.

Powell, who will have to wait until February 12 and 13 to continue pleading his case after yesterday's adjournment at the Jamaica Conference Centre, tested positive for oxilofrine, a banned fat-burning and weight-control compound.

McLaughlin, a professor in the Faculty of Medical Sciences at the University of the West Indies, Mona, and director of Caribbean Toxicology, testified that he was asked to test a sealed bottle of Epiphany D1 - one of nine supplements given to Powell by Canadian physical therapist Chris Xuereb, with two separate analysis confirming the presence of oxilofrine.

LEAD ATTORNEY

However, when asked by Powell's lead attorney, Kwame Gordon, if the substance, which can be taken legally out of competition, would have aided Powell's performance at the trials, where he finished seventh in the 100 metres final, McLaughlin had this to say:

"The advantage would not be that significant."

"So would it be incorrect to say that oxilofrine makes an athlete run faster?" Gordon asked.

"Yes," McLaughlin responded.

The professor noted that his team used two separate methods and technology to test Epiphany D1 for oxilofrine; LCMSMS and GCMS - both of which confirmed oxilofrine in the supplement.

Long-time agent Paul Doyle also testified yesterday that he had approved the new supplements for Powell, but noted that he had no knowledge that the product Epiphany D1 was among the lot, as it was not listed on the first invoices received from Xuereb.

Doyle, during his four-hour testimony, also dismissed arguments that he did not apply due diligence before hiring Xuereb, who he brought to Jamaica to aid in solving Powell's recur-ring injuries through physical therapy.

Xuereb would later offer nutritional advice and also administer anti-inflammatory injections to the sprinter, a point that came up during cross-examination by Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission counsel Lackston Robinson.

Doyle, who has been managing Powell since 2004, noted that he relied on referrals from well-known physiotherapists he had used in the past when hiring Xuereb, who Robinson pointed out was neither certified as a doctor, massage therapist, chiropractor nor physiotherapist.

TRUSTED PHYSIOS

"I didn't do a background check on Xuereb. I simply relied on the referrals of well-known and trusted physios who we had worked with in the past," Doyle told the panel, which consists of Lennox Gayle, Dr Jephthah Ford and Peter Prendergast.

"He is very qualified to be Asafa's physio. Whether or not he is certified is a different matter," said Doyle, who referred to noted US-based physio Andy Miller, who despite not holding industry certification, is highly regarded in the ranks and has come in for global praise.

Doyle also underlined that he did not intentionally avoid hiring a Jamaican physio to treat Powell full time.

Gregory Plummer, a long-time friend of Powell's, testified earlier that he had helped the two-time World Championships 100m bronze medallist research the ingredients of Epiphany D1, before he actually started taking the supplement.