Asafa Powell

Asafa Powell suspended into December, plans to appeal

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Former 100m world record holder Asafa Powell was given a retroactive 18-month ban for his positive drug test in June, meaning he is not eligible to race until December, according to Jamaican reports.

Powell’s team has begun preparations to appeal it, he said in a statement on his website.

“This ruling is not only unfair, it is patently unjust,” the statement read. “Panels such as these, I understood, were assembled to allow athletes who, consciously or unconsciously come into conflict with the rules of sport, a chance at equitable redemption. Unfortunately, this was not the case.”

The decision was handed down by a Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission disciplinary panel on Thursday.

Powell, 31, tested positive for the banned stimulant oxilofrine in June. Trainer Chris Xuereb was blamed.

“This is the 1st time in nearly 12 years of being in the sport and over 150 tests that I have had an adverse finding,” Powell said in the statement. “A stimulant that that is only banned during competition and experts have declared has no performance enhancing effects.

“Sanctions for a stimulant and this kind of infraction usually range from public warnings to a ban of three months, six months in the most extreme cases; I was and am still more than prepared to accept a sanction that is in line with the offense. Instead; 9 months later; what has been handed down is clearly not based on the offense nor the facts surrounding it.”

Training partner Sherone Simpson, a 2008 Olympic 100m silver medalist, also tested positive for oxilofrine in June and was given the same suspension Wednesday. Simpson’s agent said an appeal would be filed.

Powell held the 100m world record from 2005 until Usain Bolt broke it in 2008.

Powell has been part of the last three Olympic 100m finals, his best finish fifth in 2004 and 2008. He ran anchor on the Jamaican gold-medal-winning 4x100m relay team in 2008.

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President Obama to female Olympians: ‘Y’all crushed it’ (video)

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President Barack Obama hosted the 2016 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams at the White House on Thursday.

Obama opened his speech by saying that he had planned on doing a floor routine with Simone Biles, before ultimately deciding that the room was too crowded. First Lady Michelle Obama interjected to remind the crowd that her husband “can’t touch his toes.”

The President then singled out the athletic accomplishments of Olympians including Biles, Michelle Carter, Simone Manuel, Claressa Shields, Kristin Armstrong, Kim Rhode, Allyson Felix, Brianna Rollins, Nia Ali, Kristi Castlin, Katie Ledecky, Michael Phelps and the men’s and women’s basketball teams.

He also recognized: Ibtihaj Muhammad, the first American to compete in the Olympics wearing a hijab, Sam Kendricks, the U.S. Army reservist who put down his pole and stood at attention when the national anthem started playing, Will Claye, who proposed to U.S. hurdler Queen Harrison after winning an Olympic silver medal, and Abbey D’Agostino, who helped an opponent to her feet after a crash.

“That is exactly what the Olympic spirit and the American spirit should be all about,” Obama said about the sportsmanship of D’Agostino.

The President was particularly enthusiastic about the performance of the female athletes.

“2016 belonged to America’s women Olympians,” Obama said. “Y’all crushed it.”

Watch Obama’s full speech here.

After Obama’s speech, Biles presented him with a surfboard autographed by the Olympians in attendance.

“I’m going to have a lot of time to surf next year,” Obama said.

MORE: Photos of Team USA at the White House

Photos: Team USA at the White House

Twitter: @TeamUSA
Twitter: @TeamUSA
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President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama hosted the 2016 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams at the White House on Thursday.

Below are some of the best photos of Team USA from inside the White House: