ROME – Former 100-meter world-record holder Asafa Powell, Jamaican teammate Sherone Simpson and their trainer were formally placed under criminal investigation for violating Italy’s doping laws, police said Tuesday.
The move came a day after Italian police confiscated unidentified substances in a raid on the hotel where the three were staying following the athletes’ positive tests for banned stimulants.
Police were still analyzing the seized substances to determine whether they were legal.
The raids were executed after a tip from the World Anti-Doping Agency. Paul Doyle, the agent for the two sprinters, said they worked in conjunction with WADA on the raid after becoming suspicious that Christopher Xuereb, their newly hired trainer, might have given them supplements laced with a banned substance.
“Asafa and Sherone have been tested more than 100 times each through their career … and never turned in a positive test,” Doyle said. “Now they change their supplements and the first time they get tested, they have a positive test? It has to be something in those new supplements that has caused it. Chris is the one that provided those.”
Tuesday night Xuereb released a statement saying: “I am extremely disappointed that these athletes have chosen to blame me for their own violations.”
The findings come a month after another Jamaican Olympic champion, Veronica Campbell-Brown, tested positive for a banned diuretic.