Jul 16, 2013 Sports
Jamaica Observer – MONTEGO BAY, St James — Former men’s 100m world record holder Asafa Powell, Olympic silver medallist Sherone Simpson and Central American and Caribbean Senior Games discus champion Allison Randall have all reacted with shock and dismay to charges that they have used Performance Enhancing Drugs (PED).
Powell said in a release Sunday, “I am not now — nor have I ever been — a cheat,” while Simpson said: “I would not intentionally take an illegal substance of any form into my system.”
Randall said she would do any test to prove her innocence. “I am willing to undergo any other testing methods to prove my innocence (Blood, Hair, Spinal tap).”
Powell and Simpson had tested positive for a stimulant ‘oxilofrine’ (methylsynephrine), while Randall had returned a positive for Hydrochlorothiazide, which is a diuretic that can be used as a masking agent for the use of other more powerful drugs.
The news which came on the heels of American former World Championships double sprint champion Tyson Gay admitting to failing a drug test the same weekend and withdrawing from the upcoming World Championships, sent shock waves through the Jamaican sporting fraternity.
It also compounded the news that broke just over a month ago that multiple Olympic Games and World Championships champion Veronica Campbell Brown had also failed a drug test.
Another Jamaican athlete, Dominique Blake, was also banned for six years in June after failing a drug test at the National Senior Trials last year. She is set to appeal the sentence.
The three athletes are among five that have been confirmed by the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCo) who failed drug tests at the recent Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association’s National Senior Championships in June.
JADCo did not name any of the athletes whose ‘A’ samples were found to contain banned substances, but published reports said the anti-doing body confirmed that it has received reports of adverse analytical finding from ‘A’ samples for five Jamaican athletes.
The other two are thought to be field event competitors, one of whom is a junior.
The results mean that all three have been provisionally banned from competition until they face a disciplinary hearing, and Simpson, who was second in both the 100m and 200m at the National Trials, will almost certainly miss the IAAF World Championships in Moscow next month.
Powell, who finished a disappointing seventh in the men’s 100m at the Trials but had bounced back with some fast times, including a season’s best 9.88 seconds in Lausanne, recently had also harboured a desire to be selected for the relays in Moscow.
“Professionally, this finding fully negates any possibility of me being a part of Jamaica’s contingent of athletes competing at World Championships in Moscow later this summer,” he also said in his statement.
Randall, who suffered a back injury in late April, had not achieved the ‘B’ qualifying standard of 59.50m required for selection with a season’s best 58.97m done at the national trails.
Powell said in his statement issued on his official website: “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.”
He added: “My attitude towards doping regulations and testing is well-known and I willingly give samples whenever requested. This result has left me completely devastated in many respects.
“Personally, however, this result comes at a greater cost. I write this statement knowing fully that my family, friends, fans and country will be disappointed at this latest development. I am reeling from this genuinely surprising result. I am confident, however, that I will come out stronger and wiser and better prepared to deal with the many twists and turns of being a professional athlete.
“I accept the consequences that come with this finding — after all there is only one Asafa Powell.”
Simpson, who was part of the Jamaican team that set a new national record 41.41 seconds in the 4x100m relays while taking silver at the London Olympic Games last year, said it was “a very difficult time for me…. As an athlete, I know I am responsible for whatever that goes into my body.”
She also apologised to “my family (especially my parents, grandparents and siblings), Paul Doyle (agent), MVP track club, follow athletes, former sponsors and the rest of Jamaica that l am deeply sorry for any hurt or embarrassment this positive test may (have) caused”.
In protesting her innocence Randall said she could not afford the cost of PEDs and in an interview with the Jamaica Observer yesterday she was “embarrassed and shocked” and had never hard of the substance before.
The American born, Randall, who is of Jamaican parents, is pursuing a Masters Degree while working full time as she trains and competes. After apologising “for any embarrassment that this situation may have caused”, she said: “I have not intentionally taken any banned substance. I have been vigilant with everything I consume, so I am extremely shocked and surprised by this incident.
“I do not have the desire, nor the means to cheat. I have never even seen steroids and don’t know the first thing about them. I am willing to undergo any other testing methods to prove my innocence (Blood, Hair, Spinal tap). I love throwing the discus for my country and I hope this incident clears up after my ‘B’ sample has been tested.”
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