By Gary Anderson

April 10 - Asafa Powell has been handed an 18-month suspension for taking a banned substance ©Getty Images Former 100 metres world record holder Asafa Powell has been handed an 18-month ban after being found guilty of taking banned stimulant oxilofrine by the Jamaica Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel today.

The 31-year-old tested positive for the banned substance at last year's Jamaican National Championships on June 21 and the ban has been backdated to then, meaning the sprinter will be able to compete again from December 20 this year.

Powell won gold at Beijing 2008 as part of the Jamaican 4x100m relay team and is a two-time individual 100m World Championship bronze medallist, while he also held the 100m world record with a time of 9.74sec set in Rieti in 2007.

The sprinter was one of five athletes to test positive for banned substances at the Jamaican Championships last year.

On Tuesday (April 8), former training partner and Athens 2004 4x100m relay gold medallist Sherone Simpson also received an 18-month ban for the same substance, while discus thrower Allison Randall faces two years out for testing positive for diuretic hydro-chlorothiazide.

Powell had been the number one sprinter in the world after breaking his own world record with a time of 9.74sec in 2007 ©Getty Images Powell had been the number one sprinter in the world after breaking his own world record with a time of 9.74sec in 2007 ©Getty Images

At a hearing in January, Powell told the anti-doping panel his Canadian trainer Christopher Xuereb, who he had been working with for two months before the positive test, provided him with nine supplements, including Epiphany D1, which he claims was the source of the oxilofrine.

The sprinter claimed that in the month before the National Championships, Xuereb advised him to take two capsules of Epiphany D1 each morning for the first week, then double it for the second week and also provided him with four injections including vitamin B12.

He claimed he did not list the supplements he was taking on his doping control form because he could not remember their names.

Xuereb has denied providing performance enhancing drugs.

Chairman of the three-member disciplinary panel, Lennox Gayle, said: "The panel arrived at a unanimous decision, and it is a decision that in all the circumstances Mr Powell was found to be negligent and that he was at fault, especially in light of the fact he is an elite athlete."

Powell's lawyer said he would appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The decisions from the disciplinary panel this week have ruled Powell, Simpson and Randall out of this year's Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

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