Sport

Simpson faces first day of hearing today

On Your Mark...

BY HOWARD WALKER Observer senior reporter walkerh@jamaicaobserver.com

Tuesday, January 07, 2014    

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THE long awaited two-day hearing into the Sherone Simpson doping case is set to begin today at 10:00 am at the Jamaica Conference Centre.

Simpson, 29, and her attorney Kwame Gordon will appear before the three-member Jamaica Anti-Doping Disciplinary panel led by Lennox Gayle, Dr Jephthah Ford and Peter Prendergast.

Simpson, the 2008 Olympic 100m silver medallist, failed her drug test at the National Senior Championships last June.

Simpson returned a positive analytical finding for oxilofrine (methylsynephrine), a stimulant used to boost the body's ability to burn fat, as well as help athletes improve their power-to-weight ratio with more lean muscle and less fat.

Simpson, who was provisionally suspended after returning the positive test and missed the World Championships in Moscow, Russia, last August, blamed the adverse finding on supplements supplied by physical trainer Chris Xuereb of Canada.

At last September's preliminary hearing to set trial dates, lead attorney Gordon, who will also be representing Asafa Powell --who, like then training partner Simpson, failed a dope test for the same stimulant at the same meet -- exuded confidence that his clients will be vindicated.

"We are confident because we believe we have a strong case," said Gordon, who will be assisted by Danielle Chai.

Powell's case will be heard next week.

Simpson has since left the Stephen Francis-coached MVP camp and is now training in Florida under the guidance of Loren Seagrave.

Her hearing comes on the heels of some heated debates on Jamaica's stance and ability to properly test their athletes.

Last year, Simpson, along with star athletes Powell, Veronica Campbell-Brown, discus throwers Allison Randall and Traves Smikle, and high-jumper Demar Robinson, all tested positive for banned substances, which eventually led WADA officials to visit the island to audit JADCO's operations.

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