KINGSTON (AFP) – Former world 100 metre record holder Asafa Powell confirmed on Sunday that he had failed a drugs test which will keep him out of the upcoming World Championships in Moscow.
Jamaican star Powell was the second leading sprinter on Sunday to fail a dope test following America’s former world champion Tyson Gay.
“I will confirm that a sample I gave at the National Trials in June has returned ‘adverse findings’,” said the 30-year-old Powell in a statement released on his Twitter account.
“The substance oxilofrine was found, which is considered by the authorities to be a banned stimulant.”
The failed test means Powell is out of the Worlds which will take place in Moscow between August 10-18.
Powell went on to vehemently deny he had ever knowingly taken any illegal performance-enhancing drugs.
“I want to be clear…that I have never knowingly or wilfully taken any supplements or substances that break any rules,” Powell wrote. “I am not now nor have I ever been a cheat.”
He added: “This finding fully negates any possibility of me being a part of Jamaica’s contingent of athletes competing at the World Championships in Moscow later this summer.
“I have accepted the consequences that come with this finding — after all there is only one Asafa Powell.”
Powell, who runs for the MVP Track and Field Club, said he has been in contact with both anti-doping agencies and law enforcement officials about the matter. He did not go into detail about what role law enforcement is taking.
“We are co-operating with the relevant agencies and law enforcement authorities to discover how the substance got into my system,” said Powell, who held the 100 metre world record between June 2005 and May 2008.
Powell has won two bronze medals (2007, 2009) in the 100 metres at the World Championships. He also had one gold in the 4×100 metre relay (2009) and a silver in the 2007 relay at the Worlds.
Powell says he plans to hold his own investigation to try and figure out how the banned substance got into his system.
“I assure you that we will find out how this substance passed our rigorous internal checks and balances and design systems to make sure it never happens again.”
Powell is one of the fastest men in history to never have won an individual Olympic medal.
He finished in last place in the 100 metres at the 2012 London Games, well behind compatriot Usain Bolt with a disappointing time of 11.99 seconds, blaming the performance on a nagging groin injury.
He had back-to-back fifth place finishes in the 2004 Athens and 2008 Beijing Olympic 100 metre finals. Powell was a member of the USA’s gold medal winning 4×100 relay team at the Beijing Games.
According to media reports, Powell was one of five athletes who failed drug tests at the national trials last month in Kingston.
Sherone Simpson, a silver medallist in the women’s 100m at the 2008 Olympics, was one of them, according to a report in Britain’s Daily Telegraph.
The Jamaica Gleaner newspaper claimed the substance taken may have been contained in a food supplement.
“My team and I will try to do everything we can to get this issue dealt with as best as we can,” Simpson told the Gleaner.
“Thanks to all who have been supporting me, I really appreciate it at this time.”