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Italian police investigating Powell and Simpson

ESPN staff
July 16, 2013

Italian police have launched a criminal investigation into Jamaican sprinters Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson, according to news agency ANSA.

Former world record holder Powell and Simpson were among five Jamaican athletes to have failed drugs tests at their recent national championships - both testing positive for the stimulant oxilofrine [methylsynephrine].

Udine police are also investigating their Canadian trainer Christopher Xuereb, and raided the trio's hotel in Ligano where, according to ANSA, they removed substances for testing.

The agency also reported that authorities are now investigating whether Powell, Simpson and Xuereb have violated the country's doping laws - Italy is one of the only countries in the world that can enforce criminal sanctions for doping offences.

Powell held the 100m world record for almost three years between 2005 and 2008.

The reports follow one of the darkest days in the sport's history, where it was revealed that former 100m world champion Tyson Gay had also failed a drugs test.

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