Athletics: Jamaican sprinter Simpson handed 18-month doping ban

Reuters, Tuesday 8 Apr 2014

sherone Simpson
File photo: Sherone Simpson, an Olympic 4x100m relay silver medallist at London 2012, tested positive at the Jamaican Championships in June (Photo: Reuters)

Athens Olympics relay champion Sherone Simpson has been suspended for 18 months after testing positive for a banned stimulant during last June's Jamaican trials.

Simpson was the second Jamaican athlete to be handed a doping ban on Tuesday as Olympic discus thrower Allison Randall was suspended for two years after she too failed a drugs test during the 2013 national trials.

"Miss Simpson has admitted the anti-doping violation and ... now having listened and reviewed all the evidence and listened to the detailed submissions of councils, this panel is unanimously of the view that Ms Simpson was negligent in all the circumstances as an elite athlete and as such, the period of ineligibility will be 18 months," Lennox Gayle, a member of the Jamaica Anti-doping Disciplinary panel, said.

During a hearing in January, Simpson said a supplement provided by her Canadian trainer was responsible for her positive test.

Simpson, the 2004 Olympic 4x100 relay gold medallist, said she was not familiar with one of the five supplements given to her but that nothing on the bottle of Epiphany D1 appeared during her online search of the World Anti-Doping Agency's banned list.

Simpson was one of five Jamaicans to test positive at last June's national championships. Both she and former world 100 record holder Asafa Powell returned adverse findings for the banned substance oxilofrine.

Powell will hear his verdict on Thursday.

Randall, 25, who holds the Jamaican discus record with a distance of 61.21 metres, tested positive for the banned diuretic hydro-chlorothiazide - which reduces blood volume.

"The sanction imposed by the disciplinary panel is two years," Kent Pantry, another anti-doping disciplinary panel member, said.

Simpson and Randall's bans have been backdated to June 21 2013 - when they provided the samples.

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