"--IANS/CMC"
Kingston -, April 11 - Jamaican Asafa Powell has described as unfair and patently unjust an 18-month drugs ban handed to him by the Jamaican Anti-Doping Commission, and says he will appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Following the judgment Thursday by the three-member disciplinary panel, the sprint star took to the popular online social network Twitter to thank his fans for their support but also for objecting the suspension, reports CMC.

This ruling is not only unfair, it is patently unjust. 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, Powell said in a statement.

This is the first time in nearly 12 years of being in the sport and over 150 tests that I have had an adverse finding... it is for a stimulant... a stimulant that is only banned during competition and experts have declared has no performance enhancing effects.

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 offence. Instead, what has been handed down nine months later is clearly not based on the offence or the facts surrounding it.

Powell, who had tested positive last June at the National Championships, reiterated his argument that he took a legal supplement - Epiphany D1 - which contained the stimulant oxilofrine, though this was not listed among the ingredients.

He had also claimed during hearings in January that Canadian physical trainer Chris Xureb provided him with the supplements that contained the stimulant. The JADCO panel said in its ruling that the sprinter had been negligent and at fault.

Powell said he was hoping his appeal before the CAS would provide him with a reprieve.

I want to reiterate that I have never knowingly taken any banned substances. I did all the necessary checks before taking Epiphany D1 and it is my hope that the CAS will prove to be a more open and fair avenue for the review of all the facts in my case; facts and truth that they were not taken into to consideration at my initial hearing, he said.

In February, Jamaican elite sprinter Veronica Campbell-Brown was cleared by the CAS, after she was suspended following a positive test for a banned diuretic.

--IANS/CMC

vs/pr/


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