[QODLink]
Athletics

Powell fitness advisor denies aiding athletes

Fitness advisor to Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson speaks of his disappointment at being accused of doping involvement.

Last Modified: 17 Jul 2013 14:39
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Jamaica's Sherone Simpson and Asafa Powell were both given supplement advice by Xuereb [AFP]

Chris Xuereb, the masseur and fitness advisor of Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson, has denied providing the two Jamaican sprinters with performance-enhancing drugs and said they should take responsibility for their failed dope tests.

Powell's coach Stephen Francis said on Tuesday that he was unhappy with Canadian Xuereb's involvement with the sprinter while his agent Paul Doyle also said that the positive result was a result of the supplements Xuereb had provided.

Doyle said that former world record holder Powell was taking as many as 19 different supplements since starting work with Xuereb in May.

Xuereb, however, issued a statement by email on Wednesday denying he was to blame and that everybody involved knew what supplements he was providing.

"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," Xuereb said.

"I am extremely disappointed that these athletes have chosen to blame me for their own violations. (World Anti-Doping Agency) WADA and the public needs to stop accepting these stories and hold these athletes accountable."

Xuereb said he had provided soft tissue massage therapy and nutritional help for the two athletes as well as helping them recover from chronic injuries since he started working with them two months ago.

Major brands 

"Most importantly, I did not provide any banned or illegal substances to Asafa Powell or Sherone Simpson," he said.

"While I did recommend vitamins, all vitamins recommended by me were all purchased over the counter at reputable nutritional stores and were major brands.

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

Chris Xuereb, Fitness advisor to Powell and Simpson

"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," he said.

Xuereb also believes the pair were using supplements he had not recommended.

"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," he said.

"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. 

"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."

495

Source:
Reuters
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.

Featured
More than 400 gaming dens operate on native lands, but critics say social ills and inequality stack the deck.
The Palestinian president is expected to address the UN with a new proposal for the creation of a Palestinian state.
Nearly 1,200 aboriginal females have been killed or disappeared over 30 years with little justice served, critics say.
Ethnic violence has wracked China's restive Xinjiang region, leading to a tight government clampdown.
Malay artists revitalise the art of puppeteering by fusing tradition with modern characters such as Darth Vader.