Sport

Simpson's case pushed back to Feb 4, 5

BY HOWARD WALKER Observer senior reporter walkerh@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, January 09, 2014    

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OLYMPIC 100m silver medallist Sherone Simpson will have to wait another month to know her fate after her anti-doping hearing was pushed back to February 4 and 5.

The hearing, which began on Tuesday, was scheduled to last two days but the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) disciplinary panel could not conclude the case in time.

A key JADCO witness, Dr Paul Wright, was not available, plus a report from the Informed Choice lab in Kentucky that the defence claims proved that the Epiphany D1 supplement contains the banned substance oxilofrine, was still to be delivered to the panel.

Simpson, who now admits to being extremely paranoid in whatever she consumes, will have more agonising days ahead as she awaits her fate.

"Emotionally I am broken down. It is hard for me to trust even my family. If I am given anything I even question my mother. After the test I found out that oxilofrine can come from even sour orange," she noted.

Simpson's former MVP teammate Asafa Powell, who also faces the panel next week for a similar doping violation, testified yesterday for 10 minutes and said he never knew Simpson was also taking the Epiphany D1 supplement provided by Canadian physical trainer Chris Xuereg.

"Did you recommend this to your friend Sherone," asked Dr Jephthah Ford, a member of the JADCO disciplinary panel. "No, I didn't," replied Powell.

Dr Ford continued: "How did you become aware that Chris bought similar supplements for Sherone?"

"This was after the positive test, we sat in my room and started talking because we wanted to find out what happened and that's when I realised that she was taking the supplement," said Powell.

Meanwhile, Professor Wayne McLaughin, deputy dean in the Faculty of Medical Science at the University of the West Indies, Mona, also testified that oxilofrine gave the athlete no advantage.

According to McLaughin, the concentration found in the athlete was too small and in his opinion "would not have any effect or give any advantage to the athlete".

The professor outlined that oxilofrine is more prescribed for hypertension and also referred to a calorigenic that increases the heat production of the body, hence burn fat.

This, he said, is used by weightlifters who want to maintain a certain weight for the different weight classes in competition.

With emphasis on research of the supplements and double-checking with the necessary authorities as to avoid negligence, the cost of sending supplements to labs to be tested emerged.

"Give me an idea of an athlete who for instance has five supplements and ask you to test the five supplements to see if they contain any substance which is stated on the prohibited list. What sort of fee would we be talking," queried Kwame Gordon, the lead attorney for Simpson.

"Five supplements would run in between US$1,000 and US$1,500 (J$100,000 to J$150,000). It's not cheap, it's not cheap," revealed Prof McLaughin.

According to Prof McLaughin, one batch can be tested positive and the other batch of the same product can return a negative finding.

"So if an athlete tests the supplement once, they will have to test again whenever they buy a new bottle, that could be a new cost," McLaughin added.

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