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August 12, 2009

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Powell's Berlin participation in doubt after missing camp

A DISPUTE over Asafa Powell's no-show at a Jamaican training camp has thrown his participation at the Berlin world championships into question, his agent said on Monday.

The former 100 meters world record holder and club mates including Olympic champions Shelly-Ann Fraser and Melaine Walker failed to report for national team training in Nuremberg.

Powell's agent Paul Doyle said an e-mail from Howard Aris, president of the Jamaica Amateur Athletics Association, on Friday implied five athletes could consequently miss the August 15-23 championships.

"He (Aris) said he was very disappointed and understands this means they did not want to participate at the world championships," Doyle said.

Doyle said he hoped the dispute would be quickly resolved once the athletes arrive in Berlin from their summer base in Lignano, Italy.

"I am hoping they are on the team," he said. "I have not been told otherwise."

At issue is whether the training camp was mandatory.

"I told Doyle that the camp was mandatory, and if they don't go to the camp, they could not compete," Aris told Monday's Jamaica Observer.

But Doyle said he only learned in Friday's e-mail that Jamaican officials were expecting all their athletes at the camp.

"To that point I had received no notification that the training camp had even existed and certainly not that it had been mandatory," Doyle said.

"I have also spoken to my athletes - Asafa in particular - and he says he never received any notification the camp was mandatory."

Doyle also disputed reports the International Association of Athletics Federations had wanted the athletes at the training camp for doping control and other purposes.

"None of them have been asked by the IAAF to be in Nuremberg," he said. "Absolutely not."

Meanwhile, Jamaica's Anti-Doping Commission said it will appeal a ruling that had cleared five Jamaican athletes of doping at their national championships in June.

The commission released a statement saying it operates independently of a disciplinary panel appointed by the island's sports minister that found there wasn't enough evidence to prove that five athletes used a banned substance.

The commission said that four athletes had tested positive for a substance that is similar in chemical structure to a stimulant banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency. It said Jamaica strictly adheres to the agency's rules and to its list of banned substances.

It is unclear why the commission singled out only four athletes.

The runners had previously been identified as Yohan Blake, Sheri-Ann Brooks, Allodin Fothergill, Lansford Spence and Marvin Anderson. They reportedly tested positive for the stimulant methylhexanamine.

The disciplinary panel cleared Sheri-Ann Brooks last week, but it said on Monday that the commission planned to appeal that ruling.


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