The athlete was revealed earlier this week (14 July) to have produced a positive sample for banned stimulants during the Jamaican national trials last month. He is one of six high-profile athletes, along with American 100m record holder Tyson Gay, to have failed drug tests in the latest round of tests from doping officials.
Powell’s top sponsor Li Ning has not yet issued a statement about its future with the athlete in the wake of the revelations, but has removed the athlete’s profile page from its website. Visitors attempting to access the page through Google (see pic) are met with a broken link and it can no longer be accessed directly from the site. The athlete’s picture can however, still be seen alongside fellow Li Ning ambassadors including NBA player Dwayne Wade and tennis player Marin Cilic by visitors to its “Li Ning Athletes” page, but his name has been removed (see below).
Li Ning were unable to respond to requests from Marketing Week for comment by the time this article was published.
The brand replaced Nike as Powell’s sponsor in 2010 for an undisclosed fee. The length of the deal was also not confirmed, however the star wore the brand as recently as last month during the Jamaican national trials.
The move follows Adidas’ decision to suspend its deal with Gay. The company said it would terminate the tie-up should results from a second test come back positive. The American’s other sponsors Omega and TDK have not issued statements in the hours since the announcement.