Powell's coach backs his ward

Powell's coach backs his ward

The coach of Jamaican sprinters Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson said on Tuesday they were not to blame after the Olympic medallists failed dope tests.

"It came as a big surprise, I think, to them," Stephen Francis told Reuters outside the Fra i Pini hotel which has long hosted training camps for Jamaican athletes and is adorned with the island's national flag and memorabilia.

"Asafa has been somebody who doesn't use that kind of stuff. Over the 10 years I have coached him we have had great difficulty getting him to take basic stuff like protein, like vitamins," said Francis, who is the coach of Powell and Simpson at the MVP track and field club.

Newswire Ansa said the Udine military police health protection unit had seized some 50 boxes during a search of the hotel in north-east Italy, and would analyse pills, vials, sprays and creams to see if they contained banned substances.

Francis criticised Powell’s trainer Xuereb. "(Xuereb) kept to the outskirts of the training and he basically only dealt with Asafa. I tried to instruct others in the group that 'Look, I don't agree with this guy'."

Comments (+)