Former 100-metre world record holder Asafa Powell told a Jamaican disciplinary panel on Tuesday that he didn’t tell a doping control officer about most of the supplements he was taking because the products were new to him and he couldn’t recall their names.
The 31-year-old sprinter, who lowered the 100m world record to 9.74 seconds in 2008, was testifying before a three-member Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) panel.
Powell and his attorneys will try to explain why he tested positive for the banned stimulant oxilofrone.
Like former teammate Sherone Simpson, a three-time Olympic medallist who tested positive for the same stimulant at the Jamaican national trials in June, Powell blamed a newly hired physiotherapist who provided them with supplement regimes. Both sprinters have been suspended from competition since testing positive.
Powell testified that he received nine supplements from Canadian Christopher Xuereb, including Ephiphany D1, which lab tests later found to contain oxilofrone. He said he started taking Epiphany and other new supplements after he and a friend researched them extensively online and found no prohibited substances.
He said he also had the go-ahead from agent Paul Doyle, who Powell testified had recommended Xuereb. Doyle has said the sprinter was referred to Xuereb through other physiotherapists who Doyle’s clients had worked with in the past.
Powell testified that he quickly became “good friends” with the Canadian physiotherapist, who he said he first met in May – a month before the national trials. Powell said he trusted Xuereb so much that he invited him to live in his home and even let him play with his young daughter.
Xuereb has said he didn’t give Powell and Simpson any performance-enhancing drugs and only purchased major brand vitamins.
In July, he said “both athletes are clearly looking for a scapegoat”.
On the morning of the world championship trials, Powell said he took four Epiphany D1 capsules at Xuereb’s suggestion, previously taking two each morning since early June. He testified that he did not tell the doping officer about all the new supplements, only listing three on his declaration form.
Powell told JADCO attorney Lackston Robinson: “Sir, these were new supplements to me so, due to the excitement of the trials, I couldn’t remember”.
Robinson accused Powell of being “significantly negligent”.
Simpson’s disciplinary hearings started last week and were expected to last for two days, but were adjourned until early February.