Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson banned for 18 months for positive drug tests

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Powell, the former 100m world record holder who won relay gold at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing , was handed his ban Thursday morning by the panel for use of the banned substance, Oxilofrine. Two days earlier, Simpson, also a gold-medal-winning 4 by 100m relay winner at the 2004 summer games in Athens,was given the same ban for testing positive for the same banned substance at the national trials in Kingston last June.

Both bans, however, were backdated to June 21 of last year, meaning they will be eligible to compete again come December of this year. This rules them both out of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland this July.

Simpson has already signaled her intent to appeal the ruling via the Court of Arbitration for Sport. She and Powell continuously insist that they never knowingly took the banned drug, claiming a supplement given to her by Canadian trainer, Chris Xuereb was tainted. Xuereb has maintained his innocence, claiming Simpson and Powell should take responsibility for their actions and not make him into a scapegoat.

Jamaican discus thrower, Allison Randall was handed a two-year ban by the panel for a similar offense.

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