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Powell and Simpson cleared to compete, pending appeals

Powell and Simpson cleared to compete, pending appeals

Jamaican sprinters can return to competition as they await the outcome of their appeals against their doping bans, while Irish sprinter Steven Colvert is reported to have tested positive for EPO

Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson have both been cleared to compete for now, pending the outcomes of their appeals against their doping bans.

The Jamaican sprinters both received 18-month suspensions following their positive tests for the banned stimulant oxilofrine at the Jamaican Championships last June.

Both athletes appealed the length of their bans and since then the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has agreed to a “stay of the execution” leaving them free to compete ahead of a hearing scheduled for July 7 and 8.

This means they can compete at next week’s Jamaican Championships, which also act as a trials for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

In a statement, the CAS said: “The athletes are free to compete from now on but may have to serve the remaining part of their ban later if the sanction is eventually confirmed by CAS.”

Following the news, Powell took to Twitter to say: “God is good! Thank you to CAS for granting me this stay. I look forward to my day in court.”

He added: “Thank you to all of my fans, friends and family. You’ve helped me through the roughest time. It’s not over but there’s a light and I am grateful.”

Meanwhile, Irish sprinter Steven Colvert is reported to have tested positive for EPO in an out-of-competition test on May 20.

The Irish Examiner reported how the Crusaders sprinter had to withdraw from this weekend’s European Team Championships First League meeting in Tallinn, where he had been due to compete in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay, because of an “adverse analytical finding” for “recombinant erythropoietin” (or EPO) in his ‘A’ sample.

Colvert protests his innocence and said: “It all just feels like a really bad dream or a horrible prank.”

Speaking exclusively to the Irish Examiner, Colvert explained how he had given urine and blood samples in an out-of-competition test on May 20. “I thought nothing of it until I was informed two days ago (June 17) that there had been an adverse analytical finding for EPO in the urine sample only,” he said.

He added how generally he does not take any supplements but during that exam period he had taken “a generic multivitamin” (Activ-Max) and an iron supplement (Galfer) because he was feeling run down from his exams.

“I’m going to seek to have the ‘B’ sample tested along with giving my full co-operation to the Irish Sports Council and all the relevant bodies involved in the investigations. I’m happy to provide any extra drugs tests, provide financial statements and take any forensic test above and beyond what’s required in order to vindicate my name. I firmly believe there has been some sort of error or false positive.”

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