BANNED: Powell (PA)
ASAFA POWELL has been banned from competing in athletics for 18 months after he failed a drugs test last year at the Jamaica national championships.
The 31-year-old will be able to start competitive sprinting again on December 20, 2014, following the decision to backdate the ban and have it start from when it was revealed he failed the test.
Powell, who is planning on appealing against the ban, tested positive for the banned stimulant oxilofrine while competing at his country’s national championships last summer.
The ban will mean he is set to miss out on the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in July.
The ban comes after his fellow sprinter Sherone Simpson was handed out the same suspension on Tuesday (Apr 8) after she too failed a drugs test last year.
Much blame has been put on Jamaican anti-doping authorities for failing to properly test its stars and stop cheating.
Powell’s coach Stephen Francis has called on the Jamaican government to dismantle the national anti-doping body and subcontract testing to foreign countries with the facilities to carry out rigorous testing.
He said: “They need to sub-contract it to England or Germany or whoever it is who can carry it out properly because obviously we in Jamaica can't do this thing properly. It is embarrassment after embarrassment after embarrassment.”