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Asafa Powell cleared to compete, for now

Asafa Powell

Jamaica’s Asafa Powell looks at the scoreboard after running in the men’s 100m final during the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium August 5, 2012 file photo. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Former 100m world record holder Asafa Powell was granted a stay of execution of his current suspension, which allows him to compete in the Jamaican National Championships next week.

Powell and 2008 Olympic 100m silver medalist Sherone Simpson were banned following failed drug tests last year. Their bans were set to end in December, but both appealed.

On Wednesday, the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled Powell and Simpson are eligible to compete immediately but may have to serve the remainder of their initial suspension later, if their appeals aren’t accepted. A hearing is scheduled for July 7-8.

U.S. sprinter Tyson Gay, who failed drug tests under different circumstances last year, had his ban reduced to one year for providing assistance to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency and will return to competition July 3.

The Jamaican National Championships serve as a selection meet for the Commonwealth Games in July and August. Powell is the 2006 Commonwealth Games 100m champion. Usain Bolt will not compete at Jamaican Nationals.

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