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Jamaicans could face Olympic ban

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The unthinkable possibility is that Usain Bolt could be excluded from the Rio Olympics. A threat to ban all Jamaican athletes due to the nation's inability to conform to drug-regulation rules could embroil the world's fastest man, even though there is no suggestion that Bolt has ever been involved with illegal medications.

In truth, the International Olympic Committee is sufficiently obsessive about its profit margins never to allow Bolt to miss Rio. For Jamaican athletes without Bolt's international clout though, the initiative could be worrying.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is investigating Jamaica's failure to maintain strict testing procedures. Renee Anne Shirley, the former head of the Jamaican Anti-Doping Commission revealed earlier this year that only one out-of-competition test had been taken in five months before the 2012 London Olympics. Subsequent positive tests by five Jamaican athletes including Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson have put the spotlight on the world's most successful sprinting nation.

WADA chief John Fahey is unimpressed with the Jamaican attitude. "We're not going to take lying down, their suggestion that they'll talk to us next year," Fahey told the Telegraph. "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."

The ultimate sanction would be to declare Jamaica non-compliant and ban their athletes from the Olympics and world championships. This is far-fetched as it would also affect athletes with clean records. For example, Jamaica's failure to test athletes does not impinge on the reputations of Bolt and fellow sprinter Yohan Blake. They undergo separate testing regularly as part of the IAAF international testing pool. The outcry from sponsors and from the organisers of the Rio Olympiad would be deafening if anyone tried to deny Bolt his right to compete.

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