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Asafa Powell, Sherone Simpson win temporary reprieves from suspensions

Asafa Powell, Sherone Simpson win temporary reprieves from suspensions
Jamaican sprinter Asafa Powell will be able to compete in his country's national championships after winning a temporary reprieve in his doping case. (Anja Niedringhaus / Associated Press)

Now that Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson have won temporary reprieves in their doping cases, the Jamaican sprinters can look toward their national championships next week and, perhaps, the Commonwealth Games later this summer.

Powell and Simpson were serving 18-month suspensions after testing positive for the banned stimulant Oxilofrine. They appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, claiming their punishment was unduly harsh and asking that the suspensions be reduced to three months.

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The court upheld a previous decision to delay the suspensions on Wednesday and said it would conduct a hearing on the matter July 7 and 8.

"The athletes are free to compete from now on but may have to serve the remaining part of their ban later if the sanction is eventually confirmed by CAS," the court said in a statement.

Powell posted a message to his family and friends on Twitter.

"You've helped me through the roughest time it's not over but there's a light and I am grateful," he wrote.

The Jamaican championships begin June 26. They will serve as a trials for the Commonwealth Games scheduled for late July.

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