(SportsNetwork.com) - Jamaican sprinter Asafa Powell will be banned from competition until December because of a doping suspension.
Jamaica's Anti-Doping Commission announced the 18-month penalty on Thursday. He tested positive for a banned substance last June 21, which also marks the backdating for the suspension.
Powell has been suspended since last July when his case was revealed and will be eligible to return Dec. 20.
The former world record holder in the 100 meters called the ruling "unfair" in a statement released after the decision.
"This ruling is not only unfair, it is patently unjust," Powell wrote. "Panels such as these, I understood, were assembled to allow athletes who, consciously or unconsciously come into conflict with the rules of sport, a chance at equitable redemption. Unfortunately, this was not the case."
Powell said he took a legal supplement that was contaminated with oxilofrine. He said the label and the manufacturer's website did not list oxilofrine as an ingredient.
In addition, Powell said his team contacted the World Anti-Doping Agency and the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency to inform both organizations of his team's findings.
"This is the 1st time in nearly 12 years of being in the sport and over 150 tests that I have had an adverse finding ... it is for a stimulant ... a stimulant that is only banned during competition and experts have declared has no performance enhancing effects," Powell continued. "Sanctions for a stimulant and this kind of infraction usually range from public warnings to a ban of three months, six months in the most extreme cases; I was and am still more than prepared to accept a sanction that is in line with the offense. Instead; 9 months later; what has been handed down is clearly not based on the offense nor the facts surrounding it."
Powell said he has begun an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
"I want to reiterate that I have never knowingly taken any banned substances, I did all the necessary checks before taking Ephiphany D1 and it is my hope that The CAS will prove to be a more open and fair avenue for the review of all the facts in my case; facts and truth that the were not taken into to consideration at my initial hearing."