LOS ANGELES, August 23: The World Anti-Doping Agency expects urgent action on the concerns voiced by former Jamaica anti-doping chief Renee Anne Shirley over flaws in the country's drug testing program.
In an article for US magazine Sports Illustrated this week, Shirley said her efforts to point out inadequacies in out-of-competition testing and other flaws had met with hostility from authorities in government and athletics.
"WADA read with interest the August 20 comments made by former JADCO Executive Director Renee Anne Shirley in relation to Jamaica's drugs anti-doping program," a statement from Montreal-based WADA said Thursday.
"WADA expects the concerns to be addressed urgently and appropriately by JADCO and the Jamaican government, and looks forward to those responses accordingly."
Shirley called the five positive tests among Jamaican athletes -- including former 100m world record-holder Asafa Powell -- prior to this year's World Championships a disaster for the country whose current sprint dominance is led by superstar Usain Bolt.
She urged government action to improve testing and to ensure an independing anti-doping program.
The Daily Telegraph newspaper reported Thursday that WADA had warned Jamaica it could face expulsion from the Olympics over drugs-test flaws, but WADA's statement on Thursday said the agency's first aim would be to try to help Jamaica solve any problems.
"Where there are issues relating to any anti-doping program, WADA's role is to work closely with that signatory to remedy the situation," the statement said.
"If, consequently, no suggested or recommended remedial action is taken, a report would be made to the WADA Foundation Board where a signatory can be declared non compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code.
"No other sanction can be taken by WADA, but non compliant decisions are reported to relevant sporting and governmental bodies to decide on further course of action."