Asafa Powell & Sherone Simpson free to race again pending appeals

Asafa Powell tweeted: "It's not over but there's a light and I am grateful"

Jamaican sprinters Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson are free to compete again pending the outcome of their appeals against 18-month doping bans.

The pair tested positive for the banned stimulant oxilofrine at last year's Jamaican national championships.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) upheld the application for a "stay of the execution" and a hearing has been scheduled for 7 and 8 July.

The bans were backdated to last June and were due to end on 20 December.

"The athletes are free to compete from now on but may have to serve the remaining part of their ban later if the sanction is eventually confirmed by CAS," the court said in a statement.

Training partners Powell and 29-year-old Simpson - an Olympic 4x100m relay gold and silver medallist - argued the offence was minor and sought to have the bans reduced to three months.

Powell, 31, said on Twitter: "God is good! Thank you to CAS for granting me this stay. I look forward to my day in court.

"Thank you to all of my fans, friends and family. You've helped me through the roughest time. It's not over but there's a light and I am grateful."

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