Asafa could be back in action next week, but...
FORMER World record holder Asafa Powell could return to competitive track and field earlier than previously thought, and, according to information, he could be free to run as early as next week.
It is understood that the global governing body for the sport, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) have arrived at an agreement to lessen Powell's 18-month ban to 11 months, which would make him eligible immediately.
It is also understood, however, that he was expected to have competed at a meet in the United States on Friday, but the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission's (JADCO)- required signing off on the agreement did not happen. The reason for JADCO's not signing the agreement was not clear.
Word reaching the Sunday Observer, however, is that JADCO is expected to sign this week, clearing the way for the 2006 Commonwealth Games 100m champion to resume his career.
Powell and former MVP Track Club training partner Sherone Simpson were earlier this year banned for 18 months by a JADCO panel after they both tested positive for the banned stimulant Oxilofrine at the Jamaican National Championships in June last year. They were both sanctioned to 18 months each, which would end in December this year.
Both athletes had appealed their ban to the Courts of Arbitration for Sports, but up to yesterday, neither had been given a hearing date.
— Paul Reid