Skip to main content

Former world-record holder Asafa Powell banned 18 months for doping

April 10, 2014 -- Updated 1750 GMT (0150 HKT)
Former 100-meter world-record holder Asafa Powell received an 18-month doping ban Thursday.
Former 100-meter world-record holder Asafa Powell received an 18-month doping ban Thursday.
  • Asafa Powell receives an 18-month suspension for testing positive for banned stimulant
  • Powell given the same punishment as fellow Jamaican sprinter Sherone Simpson
  • Like Simpson, he plans to take his case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport
  • Powell held the world record in the 100 meters before Usain Bolt broke it

Follow us at @WorldSportCNN and like us on Facebook

(CNN) -- Two days after fellow Jamaican sprinter Sherone Simpson received an 18-month doping suspension, former 100-meter world-record holder Asafa Powell was hit with the same penalty after testing positive for the same banned stimulant. He called the ruling "unfair" and "patently unjust."

Powell confirmed Thursday in a statement sent to CNN through his agent Paul Doyle, that he had been sanctioned for having oxilofrine in his system.

As in the case of Simpson -- who won gold in the 4x100-meter relay at the 2004 Olympics -- Powell plans to appeal the decision made by Jamaica's anti-doping disciplinary panel to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Do drugs cheats deserve a second chance?
Disgraced sprinter now fights doping
A history of doping exposed

"This ruling is not only unfair, it is patently unjust," the 31-year-old Powell said in the statement. "Panels such as these, I understood, were assembled to allow athletes who, consciously or unconsciously, come into conflict with the rules of sport, a chance at equitable redemption.

"Unfortunately, this was not the case."

Doyle said Tuesday that Simpson, 29, took a supplement which didn't list oxilofrine as an ingredient and Powell made the same defense. They are former training partners, The Jamaican Gleaner newspaper reported.

Like Simpson, Powell tested positive at last year's Jamaican national championships and won't be allowed to return to competition until late December, with his ban backdated to last June. He could have been banned longer.

"I took a legal supplement -- Ephiphany D1," Powell said. "As it turns out, that supplement was contaminated with oxilofrine. My team commissioned two private laboratories that confirmed that oxilofrine was present in the supplements, despite it not being listed as an ingredient on the bottle nor on it's website.

"I would also like to share that upon realizing that the supplement contained oxilofrine my team made contact with both the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), who not only ordered samples of the supplement from the manufacturer, but also tested and confirmed our findings."

Powell held the world record in the 100 meters for three years prior to countryman Usain Bolt breaking it. Besides once being the fastest man in the world, Powell teamed with Bolt and two others to claim gold in the 4x100-meter relay at the 2008 Olympics.

He is also a two-time bronze medalist in the 100 meters at the world championships.

It was the first time in nearly 12 years and more than 150 tests, Powell added, that one had an "adverse" finding.

Djokovic: Anti-doping system not working
How much damage has Armstrong done to cycling?

"It is for a stimulant ... a stimulant that is only banned during competition and experts have declared has no performance enhancing effects," he said.

"Sanctions for a stimulant and this kind of infraction usually range from public warnings to a ban of three months, six months in the most extreme cases; I was and am still more than prepared to accept a sanction that is in line with the offense.

"Instead nine months later what has been handed down is clearly not based on the offense nor the facts surrounding it.

"I want to reiterate that I have never knowingly taken any banned substances, I did all the necessary checks before taking Ephiphany D1."

When contacted by CNN, WADA said it would review the reasons for Thursday's decision before deciding whether it would appeal.

Read: Simpson banned 18 months

Part of complete coverage on
May 7, 2014 -- Updated 1637 GMT (0037 HKT)
Photography can really pack a punch. Catch up with all the best shots from around the world with our weekly sports gallery.
May 7, 2014 -- Updated 1200 GMT (2000 HKT)
Of course not. But former Fulham owner Mohamed Al Fayed seems to think the removal of Michael Jackson's statue was a very "bad" idea.
May 7, 2014 -- Updated 1636 GMT (0036 HKT)
Second-tier French side Clermont Foot appoint Helena Costa -- the country's first ever professional female coach of a male team.
April 28, 2014 -- Updated 1513 GMT (2313 HKT)
San Francisco 49ers owner and co-chairman John York speaks to CNN about Michael Sam and the upcoming NFL Draft.
April 25, 2014 -- Updated 1733 GMT (0133 HKT)
The All Blacks and their fans are focused on one thing, says Dan Carter: becoming the first rugby nation to win back-to-back World Cups.
April 4, 2014 -- Updated 1308 GMT (2108 HKT)
The 2002 bomb attacks in Bali had many victims -- including a touring rugby team from Hong Kong.
Photographer Danny Lyon spent three days with Muhammad Ali in 1972 and shares his best photos and memories of the champ.
February 25, 2014 -- Updated 1254 GMT (2054 HKT)
With a growing audience boosted by the drama of ice hockey on show in Sochi at the Winter Olympics, can the sport capitalize on its popularity?
January 20, 2014 -- Updated 1125 GMT (1925 HKT)
Her paintings may sell for thousands of dollars, but she is best known for a modeling shot 50 years ago that helped launch a business empire.
January 9, 2014 -- Updated 1701 GMT (0101 HKT)
When the eye of the storm closes in most people head home -- but for these surfers it's a different story.
January 6, 2014 -- Updated 1445 GMT (2245 HKT)
Gareth Evans is a school teacher in South Africa. In 1983, he attended a "rebel tour" cricket match against the West Indies.
December 17, 2013 -- Updated 1507 GMT (2307 HKT)
In the wake of protests in his native Ukraine, heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko has turned his back on boxing to focus on his political ambitions.
August 9, 2013 -- Updated 0920 GMT (1720 HKT)
Former pole vaulter Sergei Bubka is running to be president of the International Olympic Committee.
The Olympics must use its global reach and immense popularity to help save a generation, says sporting icon Sergei Bubka.
August 7, 2013 -- Updated 1632 GMT (0032 HKT)
CNN's Fred Pleitgen exposes a history of German government-funded doping throughout the Cold War.
April 9, 2013 -- Updated 1628 GMT (0028 HKT)
A competitor crosses the erg Znaigui during the second stage of the 26rd edition of the 'Marathon des Sables', on April 4, 2011, some 300 Kilometers, South of Ouarzazate in Morocco. The marathon is considered one of the hardest in the world, with 900 participants having to walk 250 kms (150 miles) for seven days in the Moroccan Sahara.
A six-day run that covers more than 220 km through the scorching heat of the Sahara desert has been billed as the "World's toughest race."
April 10, 2013 -- Updated 1149 GMT (1949 HKT)
He plays the only sport approved by the Taliban, a game he learned as a war refugee in Pakistan.