Jamaican sprinter Asafa Powell, who held the world record in the 100 meters for almost three years, has been given an 18-month ban from competition for failing a drug test during June of last year.
Because the suspension is backdated to the time when he provided the tainted sample, the ban will expire this December.
Powell, who plans on appealing the suspension to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, called the length of the ban disproportionate to the infraction he committed:
“This is the first time in nearly 12 years of being in the sport and over 150 tests that I have had an adverse finding. It is for a stimulant, a stimulant that is only banned during competition and experts have declared has no performance enhancing effects.
“Sanctions for a stimulant and this kind of infraction usually range from public warnings to a ban of three months, six months in the most extreme cases; I was and am still more than prepared to accept a sanction that is in line with the offence. Instead, nine months later, what has been handed down is clearly not based on the offence nor the facts surrounding it.”
Fellow sprinter Sherone Simpson was also given an 18-month ban earlier this week. She too plans on appealing her ban to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.