Athletics: Powell's physio denies providing banned drugs to Jamaican sprint duo

A Carabinieri police officer stands outside the hotel where Jamaican sprinters Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson stayed in Lignano Sabbiadoro, northern Italy on Tuesday, July 16, 2013. Powell's physiotherapist on Wednesday, July 17, 2013, hit back at
A Carabinieri police officer stands outside the hotel where Jamaican sprinters Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson stayed in Lignano Sabbiadoro, northern Italy on Tuesday, July 16, 2013. Powell's physiotherapist on Wednesday, July 17, 2013, hit back at claims from the Jamaican sprinter that he was to blame for a positive dope test, maintaining that he did not provide him or compatriot Simpson with banned drugs. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

PARIS (AFP) - Asafa Powell's physiotherapist on Wednesday hit back at claims from the Jamaican sprinter that he was to blame for a positive dope test, maintaining that he did not provide him or compatriot Sherone Simpson with banned drugs.

Christopher Xuereb said in an emailed statement to a number of media organisations that he began working with the Jamaican pair in May as they recovered from injury, providing massage therapy and nutritional advice.

He said he worked "extremely hard" to help their recovery, adding: "Most importantly, I did not provide any banned or illegal substances to Asafa Powell or Sherone Simpson."

Xuereb suggested that Powell and Simpson, who tested positive for a banned stimulant, may have been taking other supplements that he was not aware of, adding: "Both athletes are clearly looking for a scapegoat."