Collins competing against the recently banned Asafa Powell (©GettyImages)
Collins competing against the recently banned Asafa Powell (©GettyImages).

Asafa Powell slammed for drug denials

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Asafa Powell was the latest high profile name in athletics to be banned for failing a drugs test. The Jamaican sprinter was given an 18 month ban last week, for taking the stimulant oxilofrine.

Powell, the last man to hold the 100m world record before Usain Bolt, has always protested his innocence, claiming his trainer was at fault for the incident, but former world champion Kim Collins believes ignorance is not an excuse that can be used, adding that cheats need to "man up".

"If you say you trust people, and that's what happens, you're just as bad as them," Collins told BBC Sport.

Powell was one of five Jamaicans who failed tests at last year's national trials and, along with female sprinter Sherone Simpson, who also received an 18-month-ban, blamed trainer Chris Xuereb for what happened.

Collins thinks it's wrong to put the blame on someone else, though: "You say you trust this guy, and he got you into this trouble. What can you say? You trusted him.

"But I'm on my own. So I have nobody about whom I can say, 'I trusted this person.' I take full responsibility for what happens. But you cannot put the blame on anybody else saying, "I trusted people.'"

The man from the Caribbean island of St Kitts and Nevis then went on to say how any athlete who is caught cheating should own up to it in the same way Britain's Dwain Chambers did when he failed a drugs test.

Chambers tested positive for the drug tetrahydrogestrinone (THG) in 2003. He was banned for two years and given a lifetime ban from competing in the Olympics, something which was overturned by the Court for Arbitration in Sport in 2012.

"In track and field, when it comes to cheating, you do not tell the truth. You lie, lie, lie. And everybody says, 'Oh, he really didn't do it.' Come on, we all know," he said.

“Man up. Man up. Man up. When I'm out there losing to you, or anyone else is losing to you, man up. If you're a woman, the same thing applies: man up."

Collins himself was involved in a drug scandal following the 2002 Commonwealth Games. The sprinter tested positive for salbutamol, but was allowed to keep his title as the substance was found within medication he took for the treatment of asthma.

He claims drug cheats aren't only cheating themselves and their fellow competitors but also the young fans who watch the sport and idolise their heroes.

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