Jamaican sprinters Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson have both tested positive for banned stimulants, according to statements they released Sunday. Both runners have claimed innocence and are adamant about discovering how the substances were found in their blood, while managers for fellow Jamaican runners Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake quickly confirmed that they were not involved.
The Jamaican sprinters tested positive for a substance called oxilophrine, which is similar in composition to ephedrine and is banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency. Powell, 30, said he is not "a cheat" and denied purposefully doping.
"I want to be clear in saying to my family, friends, and most of all my fans worldwide that I have never knowingly or willfully taken any supplements or substances that break any rules. I am not now, nor have I ever been, a cheat," Powell, who has broken the 10-second time over 80 times while running the 100-meter sprint, said in a statement.
"This result has left me completely devastated in many respects," he continued. "My fault here however is not cheating but instead not being more vigilant. I want to reiterate that in my entire career as an athlete I have never sought to enhance my performance with any substance. It is not a part of who I am or what I believe in."
Simpson, the 28-year-old Olympic silver medalist, said she was also dealing with the controversy but did not intentionally dope.
"My team and I will try to do everything we can to get this issue dealt with as best we can," she said in a statement.
Tyson Gay, the fastest American 100-meter sprinter this year, also tested positive for an undisclosed substance and revealed the issue Sunday, according to Bloomberg. A sample from May came back positive, and the runner decided to "voluntarily remove himself from competition while the full facts surrounding his test are evaluated," the United State Anti-Doping Agency said.
"I don't have a sabotage story," Gay told the Associated Press. "I don't have any lies. I don't have anything to say to make this seem like it was a mistake or it was on USADA's hands, someone playing games."
The controversy could prevent both Powell and Gay from competing at the World Championships from August 8 to 11 in Moscow.
Five Jamaican athletes total tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs, though the other three competed in field events, according to Reuters. The news followed the controversy of Jamaican seven-time Olympic medalist sprinter Veronica Campbell-Brown, who tested positive for a diuretic used to mask doping last month.