Athletics: Jamaican sprinters Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson have bans reduced
Last Updated: 14/07/14 10:07pm
Jamaican sprinters Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson have had their doping bans reduced from 18 months to six months by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
CAS announced it had decided to reduce their period of ineligibility to six months and, with that time having already been served, both athletes are free to return to competition immediately.
Powell and Simpson tested positive for banned stimulant Oxilofrine at Jamaica's national trials last year and were suspended for 18 months by a Jamaican anti-doping disciplinary panel.
Former 100 metres world record holder Powell and 2008 Olympic Silver medallist Simpson appealed their bans and CAS granted a stay on the decision last month, enabling them to compete since June 18.
Powell expressed his relief on Twitter saying: "Thank u to The Court of Arbitration for Sport. Finally this weight has been lifted off my shoulders. Justice has been served. Now let's run!"
The 31-year-old is expected to make an immediate return to the track in Lucerne, Switzerland on Tuesday.
Simpson said: "I feel total relief and that we have finally been vindicated. We both knew that we had done all we could to ensure the supplement was okay before taking it... our actions were not intentional and CAS has recognized that. I am truly thankful."
A statement from CAS said: "CAS has upheld in part the appeals filed by the Jamaican sprinters Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson against the decisions of the Jamaica Anti-doping disciplinary panel imposing a suspension of 18 months on both of them, starting on 21 June 2013.
"The CAS decided to reduce their period of ineligibility to 6 months, which has been already served.
“The athletes were already free to compete since 18 June 2014 after the CAS had granted a stay of the decisions of the Jamaica Anti-doping Disciplinary Panel of 8 and 10 April 2014.
"Both athletes filed appeals at CAS against their 18-month suspension.
“They put forward that the offense committed was minor because it was caused by contamination of the food supplement "Epiphany D1" by the banned substance Oxilofrine and requested that the suspensions be reduced to 3 months.
“They were heard at a hearing which took place on 7 and 8 July 2014 in New York."