Powell clear to run in world championships

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The Independent Online

The former 100 metres world record holder Asafa Powell and four other Jamaican athletes who were threatened with a world championship ban, have been cleared to race.

Powell, along with 100m Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser, 400m Olympic gold medallist Melanie Walker, hurdler Brigitte Foster-Hylton and sprinter Shericka Williams, had failed to report for Jamaican national team training in Nuremberg. That led to the their federation considering taking them off the team for the world championships starting on Saturday.

Powell's agent, Paul Doyle, said on Monday that an email from Howard Aris, the Jamaican Amateur Athletics Association (JAAA) president, implied the five athletes could miss the championships which start on Saturday, after skipping the training camp.

"The JAAA submitted a letter to the International Association of Athletics Federations asking for the athletes to be relieved from the starting lists," Doyle said.

"Some discussions happened and the Jamaican federation sent another letter asking that their earlier letter be withdrawn. Removing the athletes was not good for anybody. If the athletes don't get to run everybody loses."

Powell said the dispute was harming the team. "I think that the federation to be fighting your own athletes does not make sense," he said. He added that the five athletes, who all belong to the Maximising Velocity Power racing club, did not know they had to attend the camp. "We did not it was mandatory," he said.

"We [and coach Stephen Francis] decided to make a change this year and treat this championship like a normal track meeting. I guess that caused all the problem." He added that the federation has been at odds with Francis for some time.