Athletics: Asafa Powell says he never knew ex-training partner Simpson used supplement

Jamaica's Olympic sprinter Sherone Simpson (right), who tested positive for doping at the Jamaican Championships in 2013, talks with former 100m world record holder Asafa Powell as she arrives for the second day the hearing before the country's anti-
Jamaica's Olympic sprinter Sherone Simpson (right), who tested positive for doping at the Jamaican Championships in 2013, talks with former 100m world record holder Asafa Powell as she arrives for the second day the hearing before the country's anti-doping commission in Kingston Jan 8, 2014. Powell said at the hearing that he was unaware his former training partner Simpson was taking similar supplements to those he used. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

KINGSTON (AFP) - Former 100-metre world record-holder Asafa Powell said on Wednesday, Jan 8, 2014, that he was unaware his former training partner Sherone Simpson was taking similar supplements to those he used.

Powell was called as a witness in Simpson's doping hearing before the Jamaican Anti-Doping Commission disciplinary panel that will begin a hearing into Powell starting next week.

Both Simpson and Powell tested positive for the same banned stimulant, oxilofrine (methylsynephrine), at last June's Jamaican national championships.

Powell, who blamed his positive test on nutritional supplements, said he only became aware that he and Simpson were both taking similar supplements when both failed drug tests.

"I didn't know she was taking it until after the positive test," Powell continued, backing up what Simpson had told the panel earlier.

Asked if he had told Simpson that physical trainer Chris Xuereb gave him supplements, Powell said no.

Powell told the panel how he was introduced to the supplements by Canadian Xuereb, saying he awoke at 4.45am in the morning and departed for training that started at 5am without having anything to eat.

This, he said, caught the attention of Xuereb, who was staying at his house at the time.

"After a few days he observed (I wasn't eating in the mornings) and told me that I should be taking better care of myself. It was then that he recommended the supplements," added Powell, who spent 10 minutes on the stand.

Simpson had earlier testified Xuereb introduced her to several supplements, but she was only unfamiliar with Epiphany D1. She said she searched the Internet for information on it but found nothing wrong.

"There was nothing that rang any alarm bells. No alarm bell. No red flag," said Simpson.