What a day for sprinters, earlier in the day American Tyson Gay failed a drug test and will sit out the World Championships as a result. Now it has been announced that Jamaican Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson have also failed a drug tests. Both men tested positive for a banned diuretic.
Asafa Powell is the more well known of the two Jamaicans, he is a former world record holder at the 100m dash. Powell admitted in a statement that he tested positive for oxilofrine, a stimulant banned in the track and field world.
Sherone Simpson, who won the silver medal in the women’s 4×100 relay in the London Olympics, said that she also had tested positive for oxilofrine.
Bad news for Jamaican sprinting, as it comes just one month after Olympic champion Veronica Campbell-Brown failed her drug test for testing positive for the same banned diuretic.
Powell is a 30 year old sprinter who was the last man to hold the 100m record before Usain Bolt broke the mark in 2008.
“I want to be clear in saying to my family, friends and, most of all, my fans worldwide that I have never knowingly or wilfully taken any supplements or substances that break any rules,” Powell added in his statement “I am not now – nor have I ever been a cheat.”
Three world class sprinters all failing drug tests the same day, it is incredibly strange that such a large number would all fail tests at the same time. The story of not knowing they put the banned substance in their body that both Gay and Powell gave seem strangely similar to one another. Perhaps there is a Biogenesis scandal waiting to break in the world of track and field.
Follow me on Twitter @CharlieGille
Senior Sports Editor
The Guardian Express