The trainer of Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson denies providing banned substances to the Jamaican sprinters, who he says are “looking for a scapegoat.”
A 500-word email from Canadian trainer Chris Xuereb‘s account — titled “Statement” — was sent to media outlets including NBCSports.com on Tuesday night.
Xuereb has been blamed by the sprinters’ agent and track club coach for the positive drug tests returned by Powell, a former 100-meter world-record holder, and Simpson, the 2008 Olympic 100-meter silver medalist, from the Jamaican national championships in June.
“I did not provide any banned or illegal substances to Asafa Powell or Sherone Simpson,” the email read. “While I did recommend vitamins, all vitamins recommended by me were all purchased over the counter at reputable Nutritional stores and were major brands.”
Powell and Simpson tested positive for the same banned stimulant, oxilofrine, according to their statements. They will likely face suspensions and probably won’t compete again this year pending “B” sample results.
“Once we knew of the positive test, we realized that Asafa and Sherone were the only two athletes in the group who had been given new supplements by this physio that they are working with,” the sprinters’ agent, Paul Doyle, told the Telegraph. “Asafa’s had probably 150 to 200 clear tests in the past. He starts working with a new physio who gives him new supplements and all of a sudden he has a positive test in his first test. It’s obvious there’s no other reason why he would have tested positive other than something being in the new supplements he’s been taking.”
The email from Xuereb’s account disagrees.
“Both athletes are clearly looking for a scapegoat,” the email said. “I am confident, and I have also spoken to researchers and the Police, that I have done nothing wrong.”
Police raided the Italian hotel where the athletes and trainer were staying Monday. The raid was conducted at the request of the athletes to the World Anti-Doping Agency, it has been reported.
“All vitamins provided by me were found to be legal by the Italian Police,” the email said.
The email said Xuereb was hired in May by Powell and his agent to provide soft tissue massage therapy and nutritional help.
“These athletes did not inform me that they were taking any additional supplementation other than what I recommended and it is obvious that these athletes were taking additional supplements that were not discussed or known to me,” the email said. “It is time the athletes took responsibility for their doping instead of looking around for a scapegoat.”
The full, unedited copy of the email is below:
I was hired by Asafa Powell and his agent, Paul Doyle, and began working in May, 2013. My primary responsibilities were to provide soft tissue massage therapy as well as nutritional help to manage the general health of these athletes. These athletes were suffering from chronic injuries they had before I started working with them. I worked extremely hard to help Asafa Powell and Sheron Simpson with their injuries. Most importantly, I did not provide any banned or illegal substances to Asafa Powell or Sherone Simpson. While I did recommend vitamins, all vitamins recommended by me were all purchased over the counter at reputable Nutritional stores and were major brands; Metagenics, SISU, AOR, Epiphany. I was instructed by the agent and athletes to buy these vitamins. All vitamins recommended by me were shown to the MVP club coach Stephen Francis. He has gone on record and confirmed the vitamins recommended by me did not contain any performance enhancing substance and were not what was found in Asafa and Sherone’s positive drug testing findings. Further all vitamins provided by me were found to be legal by the Italian Police.I do not know what these athletes were taking in addition to what I suggested to them. Although I suggested certain vitamins to these athletes it is ultimately the athlete’s responsibility to accept or reject my suggestion. These athletes did not inform me that they were taking any additional supplementation other than what I recommended and it is obvious that these athletes were taking additional supplements that were not discussed or known to me.I was informed by the italian Police that other supplements were found in these athletes’ possession. I cooperated fully with the Italian Police and provided answers to all their questions. I was not arrested or detained as alleged. I was simply questioned for several hours (as were Asafa and Sherone) and free to leave.Unfortunately it appears that these athletes were not solely following my suggestions or WADA’s guidelines. These guidelines are in place so all athletes can have a clean sport. Both athletes are clearly looking for a scapegoat. I am confident, and I have also spoken to researchers and the Police, that I have done nothing wrong. It is very difficult at this time to assist some athletes without risk of being made the scapegoat in these situations.We need to remember that in addition to Asafa and Sherone, three other Jamaican athletes tested positive at the 2013 Jamaican trials. I had no contact with these athletes nor do I know them.It is time the athletes took responsibility for their doping instead of looking around for a scapegoat whether that person is their therapist, bartender or anyone else. Athletes keep using the same story which is to blame the scapegoat for their own wrong doing. I am extremely disappointed that these athletes have chosen to blame me for their own violations. WADA and the public needs to stop accepting these stories and hold these athletes accountable.