BAN THREAT: Jamaican stars may not be able to defend their titles at the next Olympics (PA)
JAMAICAN ATHLETES could be banned from competing at the Olympic Games after the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) said it would pursue serious reprimands against the Caribbean country for allegedly being non-compliant with international drug-testing rules.
Wada president John Fahey has blasted Jamaican athletics bosses for not properly testing its stars and slammed its anti-doping programme as “farcical”.
He told the 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.”
Fahey added: “There are a number of options. You can read into that exactly what those words are likely to mean but I don’t want to flag it up.”
His strong words come after the Jamaican Anti-Doping Commission (Jadco) was revealed to have carried out no drug tests on its athletes in the five months prior to the 2012 Games in London.
The claims emerged when former Jadco chief Renee Anne Shirley blew the whistle on the situation two months ago and quit in protest earlier in 2013.
In response to Shirley’s accusations, Jadco said its testing procedures were in line with “international standards”, and its chairman Herb Elliott got personal, calling her a “Judas” and a “bit demented”.
If such a ban were to be enforced on Jamaica, the Olympics and international athletics would suffer a heavy blow – many of the most popular stars in track and field are Jamaican, including Usain Bolt.
This year, several high-profile Jamaican athletes, such as Asafa Powell, have tested positive for banned substances, casting greater scrutiny on drug-testing practices on the Caribbean island.