Two sprinters in Jamaican drug scandal appeal their suspensions

Jamaican sprinters Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson appeal to have their 18-month suspensions lightened

It was about a year ago that a group of elite Jamaican athletes failed drug tests, triggering a scandal that threatened to get their country expelled from the Olympics.

Since then, the Jamaicans have fought to control the damage.

In recent months, the World Anti-Doping Agency has praised officials from the island nation for working to correct significant flaws in their monitoring system, and sprint star Veronica Campbell-Brown was cleared of wrongdoing when it was discovered that her urine sample was mishandled.

Now, sprinters Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson are appealing to the international Court of Arbitration for Sport to have their 18-month suspensions lightened.

"The athletes put forward that the offense committed is minor and request that the suspensions be reduced to three months," the arbitration court said in a statement.

Tests found that Powell and Simpson had the banned stimulant oxilofrine in their systems. They claim to have ingested the substance unknowingly through supplements given to them by a Canadian trainer, Christopher Xuereb.

Xuereb has denied providing the athletes with any performance-enhancing drugs.

The arbitration court has invited Powell and Simpson to file written submissions. No hearing date has been set.

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