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Sprinters 'more than satisfied' with CAS process - Simpson to compete in Belgium on Saturday

Published:Thursday | July 10, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Asafa Powell (left) and Sherone Simpson. - Ricardo Makyn/Staff Photographer

Leighton Levy, Gleaner Writer

Sherone Simpson is set to compete in the 100 and 200 metres this coming Saturday at the Gulden Sporen meet in Kortrijk, Belgium, even as she awaits a final decision from the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on whether she and her countryman, Asafa Powell, will have to serve out the time remaining on the 18-month drug bans.

Simpson, 29, and her former clubmate, Powell, 31, on Tuesday completed two days of appeal hearings before the CAS in New York and now await a decision of the highest court of appeal in sport.

A statement released by Tara Playfair, Powell's publicist, said both athletes are "more than satisfied with the process and patiently await the CAS panel's decision".

However, if their appeals are overturned, both sprinters will have to serve out the remainder of their drug suspension, which expires in December.

In early April 2014, a Jamaica Anti-Doping Disciplinary panel banned both athletes after they tested positive for the stimulant Oxilofrine at the National Championships in June 2013.

The athletes were notified of their failed tests in mid-July 2013 and had been provisionally banned from competition since that time. The suspensions are retroactive to June 2013.

Appeal ban

During separate arbitration hearings that began in January this year, the athletes testified that they were provided with supplements by personal trainer Chris Xuereb, who had been hired by their agent, Paul Doyle.

The athletes, who were then both members of the MVP Track Club, appealed the length of their bans to the CAS and on June 18, the CAS upheld their appeals and issued a stay on their bans, allowing them to compete professionally.

Simpson, who is now being coached by Loren Seagrave at her training base in Florida, competed at the National Championships between June 26 and 29, where she was eliminated at the semi-final stage of the 100 metres (11.34 seconds) and was fourth in the final of the 200 metres in 23.28 seconds.

Powell, meanwhile, opted out of the National Championships with a stomach virus. He subsequently pulled out of the Paris Diamond League meet last weekend.