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Powell and Jamaican colleagues won't face further action for skipping camp

KINGSTON — A disciplinary panel has ruled former world record holder Asafa Powell and five of his Jamaican colleagues would not receive further punishment for skipping a training session ahead of the IAAF World Athletics Championships in August.

The group, which includes Powell and Olympic champions Shelly-Ann Fraser and Melaine Walker, skipped Jamaica’s main training camp just prior to the Berlin championships. The others include Olympic 400m silver medallist Shericka Williams and hurdlers Kaliese Spencer and Brigitte Foster-Hylton, who went on to win the women’s 100m sprint hurdles gold.

“A sanction was imposed against the offenders and at the instance of the president of the IAAF, the sanction was withdrawn,” the panel wrote in a letter to the Jamaican Amateur Athletic Association.

“To attempt to revisit the matter would be tantamount to trying them twice.”

The panel recommended that coaches communicate better and work closer with the JAAA.

“Something needs to be done to get the coaches to be more cooperative. They need to understand that it is the JAAA that is invited to these meets and the athletes only become eligible to participate if selected by the JAAA.”

The panel includes former Jamaica Chief Justice Lensley Wolfe, former Attorney General of Jamaica Winston Spaulding and Chief of Staff of the Jamaica Defence Force major general John Simmonds.

Jamaican track officials initially ruled the six would not be allowed to run at the worlds then made a dramatic U-turn after being pressured by the IAAF.

The group, who are all part of the Maximising Velocity Power (MVP) training group, had been punished by the team directors because they refused to train with the main body of the team in Nuremberg, Germany.

Instead they stayed with their coach Stephen Francis at their Italian training camp in Lignano Sabbiadoro.

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