Jamaican athletes could face exclusion from the global stage after world anti-doping chief John Fahey warned the nation's drug testers they must prove quickly they are meeting international standards.
The Jamaican Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) is under intense scrutiny following claims from its former head, Renee Anne Shirley, who revealed in August that only one out-of-competition test had been carried out in the five months leading up to last year's Olympics.
That led the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) to seek an audit of the organisation, but JADCO has said it cannot accommodate such a process until next year. Wada president Mr Fahey told the Daily Telegraph: “The current position is unacceptable to Wada and we’re not going to take it lying down, their suggestion that they’ll talk to us next year. “To suggest to Wada they’re not ready to meet with us to talk about their problem until sometime next year is unsatisfactory, it’s totally unacceptable to me and we shall act appropriately within an appropriate time frame.”
One course of action available to Wada would be to declare JADCO non-compliant, which would result in its athletes being banned from global competitions such as the Olympics and World Championships.
Jamaica came under the spotlight after five athletes including Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson returned positive tests earlier this year. Shirley, who began her job as executive director of JADCO last July, left her post in February after becoming frustrated at the lack of progress made.
Leading Jamaican athletes such as Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake face regular tests as part of the IAAF's international testing pool.