Prosecutors in Italy have launched a criminal investigation into Jamaican sprinters Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson and their Canadian trainer Christopher Xuereb, according to the Italian news agency Ansa.
Powell and Simpson have both tested positive for a banned stimulant and police raided their hotel in Ligano and removed substances for analysis.
Authorities in Udine are now investigating whether the trio have violated the law on doping. Italy is one of a few countries in the world that can impose criminal sanctions for doping offences on top of standard sporting sanctions.
According to Ansa, police confirmed they have seized some 50 boxes of tablets, ampoules, sprays and ointments — some of which are unlabelled.
Powell, 30, who has run the 100 metres in 9.88seconds this year but failed to make the Jamaican team for next month’s World Championships, was tested at the national trials in June and returned an adverse finding for oxilofrine (methylsynephrine), a stimulant that boosts fat-burning.
Simpson, 28, a three-time Olympic medallist, tested positive for the same substance.