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Italy police arrest Asafa's physical trainer over banned substance

Published:Sunday | July 14, 2013 | 3:45 PM

Leighton Levy, Gleaner Writer

Police in Italy have reportedly detained a physical trainer that had been living with Asafa Powell, and providing him with supplements, that may have contributed to his positive drug test for Methylsynephrine, The Gleaner understands.

The trainer whose name has not been released was detained and evidence removed from his residence.

He began working with the MVP camp in May.

Powell has also reportedly handed over supplements he had in his possession that were given to him by the trainer.

Some of those same tainted supplements may also have been supplied to Sherone Simpson, sources said.

News broke today that Powell and Simpson, Olympic and World Championship medallists were among five Jamaican athletes who returned adverse analytical findings during the recent National Championships held at the National Stadium from June 20-23.

Two other senior athletes and a junior athlete also returned positive tests in their ‘A’ samples.

The Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCo) confirmed that it had received the reports of the findings, but was unable say much more on the matter, according to JADCo Chairman, Dr Herb Elliott.

“The process of results management has commenced in accordance with JADCo anti-doping rules.”

Powell subsequently released a statement in which he declared his innocence.

“I want to be clear in saying to my family, friends, and most of all my fans worldwide that I have never knowingly or willfully taken any supplements or substances that break any rules. I am not now — nor have I ever been — a cheat,” he said.

“My team has launched an internal investigation and we are cooperating with the relevant agencies and law enforcement authorities to discover how the substance got in my system. I assure you that we will find out how this substance passed our rigorous internal checks and balances and design systems to make sure it never happens again,” Powell said.

Simpson, who Gleaner sources say may have also been an unwitting victim of the suspect taken into custody, also declared her innocence.

“I would not intentionally take an illegal substance of any form into my system. I want to sincerely say to my family (especially my parents, grandparents and siblings), Paul Doyle (agent), MVP track club, fellow athletes, former sponsors and the rest of Jamaica, that l am deeply sorry for any hurt or embarrassment this positive test may have caused, she said.

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