Athletics

Police raid Powell's hotel

2013-07-15 18:00
Asafa Powell (Getty Images)
Rome - Italian police have confiscated unknown substances Monday in a raid on the hotel where Jamaican sprinters Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson were staying after each tested positive for banned stimulants.

Rooms of the athletes and physical trainer Christopher Xuereb of Canada were searched and drugs and muscle supplements were seized, Udine police captain Antonio Pisapia said.

Pisapia said it was unclear if the drugs and muscle supplements were legal or illicit and that the substances were being analyzed.

"We are examining the substances now," Pisapia said.

"No arrests have been made and nobody has been placed under investigation."

The raid took place at the Fra i Pini hotel in Lignano Sabbiadoro in north-eastern Italy.

Powell, a former world-record holder at 100m, and Simpson tested positive for the stimulant oxilofrine at the Jamaican championships last month, their agent announced Sunday.

The police captain with the specialized NAS unit added that Powell and Simpson were informed of the positive tests Saturday morning.

The raid came in stark contrast to the usual warm reception that the runners generally receive in Lignano, and the town's mayor, Luca Fanotto, recommended "caution" before drawing conclusions.

"The Jamaican team has chosen the sports facilities of Lignano Sabbiadoro as their training base for years and they never forget to thank the city from podiums all over the world," Fanotto said in a statement.

A local athletics meet is scheduled for Tuesday in Lignano and the Jamaicans had been scheduled to compete as they do most years.

However, neither Powell nor Simpson were on start lists released Monday.

The news of the positive tests for Powell and Simpson came the same day that American 100-metre record holder Tyson Gay revealed that he also failed a doping test.

Powell was the last man to hold the 100m world record before Usain Bolt broke it in 2008.

He also helped the Jamaicans to the 4x100m relay gold medal at the 2008 Olympics.

Simpson won Olympic gold in the women's 4x100m relay in 2004 and silver in 2012, along with individual silver in the 100m in 2008.

The doping positives come a month after another Jamaican Olympic champion, Veronica Campbell-Brown, tested positive for a banned diuretic.

Read more on:    asafa powell  |  athletics
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