WADA due in Jamaica next week for doping audit

Kingston: A World Anti-Doping Agency team is slated to visit Jamaica on Monday amid reports the country`s athletes could face an Olympic ban over the handling of recent drug scandals.

Doctor Herbert Elliott, chairman of the board of the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO), confirmed the planned two-day visit by a three-strong WADA team for a special audit, according to a local radio station report on Tuesday.

Elliott was quoted as saying "WADA will be sending three officers to Jamaica next Monday and Tuesday (October 28 and 29)" but did not say who the officers from WADA would be.

England`s Daily Telegraph reported on Tuesday that WADA president John Fahey had dismissed as "farcical" attempts by JADCO to put off an audit until next year.

The stonewalling came after WADA had been invited by Jamaica`s prime minister to investigate allegations by the former executive director of JADCO that the agency`s drug testing program was insufficient.

Fahey indicated to the Daily Telegraph that Jamaica could be found to be non-compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code.

That would mean its athletes, including sprint superstar Usain Bolt, could be barred from major international competitions until the situation is resolved -- even those who, like Bolt, have never failed a drugs test.

"The current position is unacceptable to WADA and we`re not going to take it lying down," Fahey told the newspaper.

WADA said in August it was ready to help Jamaica resolve their problems in the wake of the doping scandal involving former 100m world record-holder Asafa Powell.

The global anti-doping agency had then called for urgent action on the concerns raised by former Jamaica anti-doping chief Renee Anne Shirley over flaws in the country`s drug testing system.