Athletics

Powell gives nationals a skip

Asafa Powell
Asafa Powell
AFP

Kingston - Former 100-metre world record holder Asafa Powell withdrew Thursday from the Jamaican Athletics Championship, just hours before he was to have run in the blue riband event at the meet.

Powell's publicist Tara Playfair-Scott said the sprint star is too ill to compete.

"He has a stomach flu," Playfair-Scott explained.

Powell is still scheduled to race at the Paris Diamond League meet July 5.

"We are hoping he will be OK for that meet," Playfair-Scott said.

Powell owned the 100m world record between June 2005 and May 2008, with times of 9.77 and 9.74 seconds respectively.

If the 31-year-old harbours any hope to compete in the July 23-August 3 Commonwealths, he will have to hope to be granted a place on a medical exemption ticket.

Powell returned from a groin injury to compete in last year's Jamaican meet, but finished seventh in the 100m and later tested positive for the banned stimulant Oxilofrine.

Earlier this year he was issued an 18-month ban but he and former training partner Sherone Simpson have appealed their cases to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

Powell was given a temporary reprieve while he appeals the suspension ahead of a hearing July 7-8.

Powell joins a list of absent stars that includes reigning 100m Olympic champion Usain Bolt and his training partner, Yohan Blake.

Olympic gold medalist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce is also missing due to a leg injury, but Simpson is expected to compete, as is Veronica Campbell-Brown, a treble Olympic champion who was cleared of a doping violation by CAS in March over handling issues with her sample.

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