Jamaican sprinter Asafa Powell and teammate Sherone Simpson, as well as their trainer, Christopher Xuereb, were formally placed under criminal investigation for violating Italy’s doping laws, the Mercury News reports. This comes one day after Italian police raided a hotel where the three were staying in Lignano Sabbiadoro, following the athletes’ testing positive for banned stimulants.
Udine prosecutors believe the three violated Article 9 of the doping laws, which calls for punishment for anyone who administers or consumes banned substances.
Police were still analyzing the seized substances to determine whether they were legal.
Being formally placed under investigation is a step up in the Italian justice system from someone simply “informed of the facts,” which is how a person can be questioned by police. That occurred after the raid early Monday, when the three were brought to a local police station.
Police told The Associated Press that the raids were executed after a tip from the World Anti-Doping Agency. Paul Doyle, the agent for the two sprinters, said they worked in conjunction with WADA on the raid after becoming suspicious that Christopher Xuereb, their newly hired trainer, might have given them supplements laced with a banned substance. Doyle also said that Powell and Simpson were aware of the impending raid, but Xuereb was kept out of the loop.
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