(AP) Trainer says he is “scapegoat” for Powell, Simpson
By PAT GRAHAM
AP Sports Writer
The trainer for Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson insisted Tuesday he didn’t give the sprinters performance-enhancing drugs and suggested it’s time for them to take “responsibility for their doping instead of looking around for a scapegoat.”
In a statement The Associated Press received from one of two email accounts for Chris Xuereb, the trainer is quoted as saying he has done nothing wrong since the Jamaicans hired him in May to provide massage therapy and nutritional help.
Powell, the former 100-meter record holder, and Simpson, a three-time Olympic medalist, tested positive for the stimulant oxilofrine at the Jamaican championships last month. Their agent, Paul Doyle, contends something in the new supplements the sprinters were taking caused it and “Chris is the one that provided those.”
The email quotes Xuereb as saying he was disappointed the athletes are blaming him for their violations.
Earlier Tuesday, Italian police formally placed Powell, Simpson and Xuereb under criminal investigation for violating the country’s doping laws. The move came a day after Italian police confiscated unidentified substances in a raid on the hotel where the three were staying in the northeastern town of Lignano Sabbiadoro, following the athletes’ positive tests.
Police told the AP the raids were executed after a tip from the World Anti-Doping Agency. Doyle said he and the sprinters worked in conjunction with WADA on the raid after becoming suspicious that Xuereb might have given them supplements laced with a banned substance. Doyle also said Powell and Simpson were aware of the impending raid, but Xuereb was kept out of the loop.
In the email statement from Xuereb’s account, he is quoted as saying he “did not provide any banned or illegal substances to Asafa Powell or Sherone Simpson.”
The statement says all the vitamins Xuereb provided to the sprinters were found to be legal by Italian police.
Doyle said that while the sprinters had been led to believe everything they were taking was untainted, he and the athletes should have been more responsible about which supplements they used.
AP Sports Writers Andrew Dampf in Rome, Eddie Pells in Denver and Stephen Wilson in London contributed to this report.