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WADA to visit Jamaica next week after anger at stonewalling

By Kayon Raynor

KINGSTON (Reuters) - The World Anti-Doping Agency will visit Jamaica next week to conduct an audit of the country's anti-doping program after the world body expressed anger at the Caribbean nation's reluctance to schedule a visit until next year.

Three WADA officials, however, are now expected to arrive for a two-day visit on October 28 and 29, Herb Elliott, the head of the Jamaican Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) told Reuters on Tuesday.

He did not provide the names of the WADA officials who will conduct the investigation after several Jamaican athletes tested positive for doping offences this year.

Former world 100 meters record holder Asafa Powell, twice 200 meters Olympic champion Veronica Campbell-Brown and London Games 4x100 relay silver medalist Sherone Simpson all failed drug tests and were left out of Jamaica's athletics team for the world championships in August.

Campbell-Brown has since been censured for the positive test for the banned diuretic hydrochlorothiazide, which is on WADA's banned list as a masking agent, but escaped a ban.

Sources close to Jamaican athletics told Reuters at the time the banned drug was contained in a cream that Campbell-Brown was using to treat a leg injury and which she had declared on her doping control form.

The credibility of Jamaica's anti-doping work has been further called into question by Renee Anne Shirley, a former senior official with JADCO, who told Sports Illustrated in August the authority had carried out just one out-of-competition test from February 2012 to the start of the London Olympics in July.

WADA President John Fahey had expressed his body's frustration at the Jamaican authorities' stonewalling of a visit by the world body in an interview with a British newspaper earlier on Tuesday.

Fahey had suggested in the interview that WADA would investigate "a number of options" open to the body that could include declaring the country "non compliant" with the WADA code, which would pave the way for global sporting bodies like the International Olympic Committee to impose punitive measures.

(Editing by Greg Stutchbury)

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