The following article is reprinted with the permission of the Daily Telegraph
Jamaica was on the brink of being cast into the international wilderness after the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) vowed to take action that could mean the island is deemed non-compliant with its drug-testing responsibilities.
In an exclusive interview with The Telegraph, WADA President John Fahey delivered a withering rebuke to Jamaica over its "farcical" attempts to defer an extraordinary audit of its anti-doping programme until the New Year.
WADA Director General David Howman had planned to lead a commission to Jamaica after being invited by the island's prime minister to investigate revelations from the former executive director of the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) that it conducted no drug tests in the five months leading up to last year's Olympics.
JADCO's refusal to accommodate the commission during the remainder of 2013 infuriated Fahey, who last night (Monday) promised an "appropriate" response, with non-compliance with the WADA Code the ultimate sanction.
That could have dire consequences for Jamaica's world-class athletes including Usain Bolt and company, who may be barred from competing at athletics "biggest events", including the Olympics until the row is resolved, notwithstanding that there is no evidence of any individual wrongdoing by Bolt and his teammates.
Branding JADCO's position "farcical" , Fahey said: "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."
Pressed over whether Jamaica would be declared non-compliant, 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."
The former head of JADCO, Renee Anne Shirley, blew the whistle on Jamaica's lack of drug testing two months ago, having quit in protest earlier this year. She spoke out 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.
Following Shirley's revelations, Howman warned Jamaica risked expulsion from the Olympics and World Championships by the International Olympic Committee and International Association of Athletics Federations if it failed to address her concerns.
JADCO responded by claiming its drug-testing procedures were in keeping with "international standards" , while Chairman Herb Elliott branded Shirley a "Judas" and a "bit demented" .
He added of WADA's proposed audit: "The last time they were here, they claimed everything was OK. So I don't see how they're going to say anything is different this time."
Meanwhile, Fahey cast doubt on whether Lance Armstrong could be persuaded to come clean over precisely what he knows about the culture of doping in cycling while he was competing.
Fahey welcomed new International Cycling Union President Brian Cookson's attempts to build bridges with WADA and establish a fully independent investigation into who knew what during the Armstrong era, the remit for which is under discussion.
Cookson has extended a public invitation for disgraced Tour de France winner Armstrong to give evidence to any inquiry and has suggested he would be in favour of a reduction in the 42-year-old's life ban in exchange for full disclosure.
Fahey said: "Lance Armstrong's had many opportunities to indicate to the world his remorse for his totally unsatisfactory behaviour, his bullying, his lying and his cheating.
"He's had many opportunities to redeem himself since this matter came to a head a year ago. I believe there is a need for an inquiry to give a chance for anybody who wants to contribute. If Lance Armstrong's a party to that, he's welcome. But I won't hold my breath."
The WADA code allows for sentence reduction in exchange for 'significant assistance' in other doping investigations, the necessary degree of which would be determined by the United States Anti-Doping Agency in Armstrong's case.
Fahey said: "If he was able to make a case for 'significant assistance', and that means making a lot of information available, then maybe he could convince USADA to open up his case to deal with the sanctions.
"There's no pardon available in that sport or any other sport under the current code, whether it's Lance Armstrong or whoever in the world of sport."