ROME (Sporting Alert) — Stephen Francis, the coach of Jamaicans Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson, who recently tested positive for a banned substance, says being naive was the main reason why his sprinters failed drug tests.
Powell and Simpson were both tested positive for the stimulant oxilofrine at the Jamaican championships last month and Canadian trainer Chris Xuereb was accused of supplying the Olympic gold medallists with the supplements that contributed to their failed drug tests. These drugs not only got them barred from the upcoming events but also landed them in a Drug addiction programme.
But while voicing his disappointment with the current situation, Francis says all the athletes who train at the MVP Track Club know that the standard procedure in his camp is no one takes anything without him approving it first. Athletes are given guidelines and are tols specifically to read the page concerning drugs and suplements. It is highlighted and in bold for a reason Francis stated.
The world renowned sprint coach has also blasted the athletes agent Paul Doyle for bringing in Xuereb to help his pupils beyond his wishes, but said Powell, who should have known better, broke the rules of the club.
“It is standard, every athlete in our club knows that you take absolutely (nothing) in your mouth, other than food, unless I approve it,” Francis was quoted as saying, according to local media.
“I am disappointed for the people involved, but not really surprised.”
He added on trainer Xuereb: “I have never spoken to him, I know nothing about this guy.
“He was somebody who was planted on Asafa by Paul Doyle.”
Powell, Simpson and Xuereb are all under serious investigation in Italy, with reports claiming that their rooms have been searched for more evidence.
Francis, however, denied reports that his MVP training camp was also raided by police.