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Powell and Gay test positive

Tyson Gay - Asafa Powell

Tyson Gay – Asafa Powell

Sprint stars Asafa Powell and Tyson Gay have both returned positive drugs tests.

Jamaican sprinters Powell, a former world record holder over 100m, and Sherone Simpson tested positive for the same banned stimulant, oxilofrine.

Gay – the world’s fastest man over 100m this year – is waiting for the results of his B sample from the US Anti-Doping Agency after revealing his A sample from an out-of-competition test in May returned a positive result for a substance which has not yet been revealed.

Powell and Gay are two of the biggest names in athletics, which is now facing up to its biggest crisis of credibility since the BALCO scandal.

Simpson is a three-time Olympic medallist, while three more of their compatriots also failing tests, according to the Jamaican Gleaner newspaper. Usain Bolt is not among them.

Powell, who has won gold medals in the 4x100m relay at the Olympics and World Championships and held the world record before Bolt, released a lengthy statement in which he insisted he had not knowingly doped.

The 30-year-old, who has run 9.88 seconds this year, but failed to make the Jamaican team for next month’s World Championships, said a sample he gave at the national trials in June returned “adverse findings” for oxilofrine (methylsynephrine).

He said: “I want to be clear in saying to my family, friends, and most of all my fans worldwide that I have never knowingly or wilfully taken any supplements or substances that break any rules.

“I am not now – nor have I ever been – a cheat.

“My team has launched an internal investigation and we are co-operating with the relevant agencies and law enforcement authorities to discover how the substance got in my system.”

Powell ran his world record of 9.72sec in 2008 and has often failed to live up to expectations on the biggest stage.

He added: “My attitude towards doping regulations and testing is well-known and I willingly give samples whenever requested.

“This result has left me completely devastated in many respects.

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