Former 100-meter world record holder Asafa Powell has asked for his 18-month doping ban to be reduced to three months, arguing that he committed only a minor offense.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) said in a statement that it has received an appeal from the Jamaican sprinter, who has been suspended from competition since his doping case was disclosed last July.
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The 31-year-old Powell and three-time Olympic medalist Sherone Simpson tested positive for the banned stimulant oxilofrone at Jamaica’s national trials last June. They were suspended by a Jamaican disciplinary panel last month.
Simpson has also asked for her suspension to be cut to three months.
"The athletes put forward that the offense committed is minor and request that the suspensions be reduced to 3 months," CAS said in a statement Monday.
Once the top sprinter on the track, Powell lowered the world record in the 100 to 9.77 in 2005, then 9.74 in 2008 before being eclipsed by Usain Bolt.
Powell’s backdated ban began from the date of his sample collection on June 21, 2013, meaning he’s eligible to return to competition on Dec. 20, about a month after he turns 32.
Like Simpson, Powell put the blame on a newly-hired trainer who provided him and Simpson with supplements, including one called "Epiphany D1" which lab tests later showed to contain oxilofrone.
During hearings earlier this year, Powell testified that he received nine supplements from Canadian physiotherapist Christopher Xuereb, including Epiphany D1. Powell said he started taking the capsules after he and a friend researched the supplement for up to six hours online and found no prohibited substances.
But Xuereb has said he never gave Powell or Simpson any performance-enhancing drugs and only purchased major brand vitamins. Xuereb once worked at the Toronto clinic run by Anthony Galea, a sports physician who pleaded guilty to bringing unapproved and mislabeled drugs into the U.S. for house calls.