Anti doping chief criticizes Jamaica as auditors prepare to fly in

LONDON,  CMC-The president of the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA), John Fahey, has accused Jamaica of attempting to dodge an audit of its anti-doping programme this year.

A WADA commission is expected to visit the island to investigate reports that the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) conducted no drug tests in the five months leading up to last year’s Olympics.

Fahey has accused JADCO of “farcical” attempts to defer the extraordinary audit following an invitation from the country’s Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller for a WADA team to visit.

“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,” said Fahey in an interview with The Telegraph.

“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.”

WADA’s president’s criticism of JADCO comes days after the organisation’s Director General David Howman was reported to be finalizing arrangements for a team to visit Jamaica next week.

Minister with responsibility for sports, Natalie Neita Headley, was quoted in The Gleaner last week as saying that if a mutually convenient date could be agreed on, then WADA was free to visit to conduct their audit of JADCO.

The Gleaner has also reported that a team from WADA will be visiting Jamaica on October 28.

During the two-day visit, the WADA team is expected to have discussions with JADCO commissioners, members of the staff, as well as the minister of sport.

The WADA team of Rob Koehler, Rune Anderson and Kerwin Clarke, will leave the island with their findings on October 30.

Two months ago, the former head of JADCO, Renee Anne Shirley, blew the whistle on Jamaica’s drug testing having quit in protest earlier this year.

Shirley’s revelations came after five Jamaicans who competed at London 2012 produced adverse findings, including former 100 metres record holder Asafa Powell, who denied knowingly taking performance-enhancing drugs.

Three Jamaican athletes – Allison Randall, Demar Robinson and Traves Smikle – are all set to appear before a JADCO disciplinary panel on December 5 and 6, 12 and 13, and 16 and 17, respectively.

A delegation from Jamaica is also down to attend the WADA Conference set for Johannesburg, South Africa, from November 12-15.

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