Thursday 23 May 2019

Asafa Powell's Italian hotel raided and substances found - report

Tyson Gay (L) and Asafa Powell
Tyson Gay (L) and Asafa Powell

A news agency is reporting that the Italian hotel where Jamaican sprinters Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson has been raided and suspicious substances have been taken away for analysis.

The Associated Press is claiming that Udine police captain Antonio Pisapia has told them that rooms of the athletes and physical trainer Christopher Xuereb of Canada were searched and that drugs were confiscated.

He went on to say that substances discovered in the rooms have been taken away for analysis.

The raid took place this morning at the Fra i Pini hotel in Lignano Sabbiadoro in northeastern Italy.

No arrests were made and none of the people occupying the room are under investigation.

It was revealed yesterday that Asafa Powell tested positive for a stimulant at last month's national championships.

Powell, the former world record-holder, admitted that he tested positive at last month's Jamaican trials, though he insisted he had not cheated knowingly and was "reeling" from the news.

In a statement, the Jamaican said: "I will confirm that a sample I gave at the national trials in June earlier this year has returned 'adverse findings'.

"The substance oxilofrine (methylsynephrine) was found, which is considered by the authorities to be a banned stimulant.

"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. My team has launched an internal investigation and we are co-operating with the relevant agencies and law enforcement authorities to discover how the substance got in my system."

Fellow Jamaican Sherone Simpson, a silver medallist in the women's 4x100m relay at last summer's London Olympics, also tested positive at the trials for the same substance as Powell, while there were unconfirmed media reports in Jamaica that a further two unnamed Jamaicans had returned adverse findings.

The banned drug oxilofrine that top Jamaican sprinters Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson have tested positive for is a stimulant used to boost the body's ability to burn fat.

Meanwhile, Tyson Gay's contract with adidas has been suspended following the American sprinter's reported failed drugs test, it was announced today.

Adidas confirmed the deal with the 30-year-old athlete has been suspended after the sportswear giant invoked a clause in its contract dealing with doping.

Gay is waiting for the results of his B sample from the United States Anti-Doping Agency amid reports he tested positive for a banned substance.

Reports of a failed test by Gay, the fastest man in the world this year, came just hours before it was confirmed Jamaican sprinters Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson had submitted positive tests for a banned stimulant.

Adidas said in a statement: "adidas and Tyson Gay have been partners since 2005 and during this time he has been a great ambassador for the sport of track and field and our brand.

"We are shocked by these recent allegations, and even if we presume his innocence until proven otherwise, our contract with Tyson is currently suspended.

"Adidas has a clear policy on doping and drug use - each of the agreements with our athletes include a clear clause which states that the agreement shall be terminated by adidas if the athlete is found guilty of the possession or use of drugs or any other prohibited substance by the relevant governing sports body having jurisdiction over the athlete."

Online Editors

The Left Wing: Leinster's succession plan, Munster's missing piece and the art of contract negotiations

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport