WADA suspends accreditation of Rio Laboratory with less than two months until Olympic Games

June 25, 2016 0

From Inside the Games

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has suspended the accreditation of the Brazilian Doping Control Laboratory in Rio de Janeiro just 42 days before the start of this year’s Olympic Games.

Procedural errors are thought to be behind WADA’s decision, which raises the possibility that samples collected during Rio 2016 will have to be shipped off and tested and analysed elsewhere at a cost of as much as $250,000 (£182,000/€224,000).

This was the case ahead of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, where samples were analysed over 9,000 kilometres away in Lausanne in Switzerland.

It is thought a similar procedure would be much more difficult during Rio 2016 due to the volume of samples taken at an Olympic Games.

Outgoing WADA director general David Howman has described the news as “disturbing” in an interview with New Zealand-based website stuff.co.nz.

He claimed it was unlikely the problem will be rectified before the Games get underway with the Opening Ceremony on August 5.

“This lab produced a whole list of false positives, and falsely accusing people is top of the pile of serious issues,” Howman told stuff.co.nz.

The facility has encountered numerous problems in the past after it had its accreditation revoked in 2013 as it failed a “blind” quality assessment test.

In 2012, it was suspended from conducting isotope ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS) testing on samples for several months before being reinstated.

“Rio 2016 is totally committed to clean Games with a full anti-doping programme,” a statement from Rio 2016 read.

“We are working together with WADA and the Brazilian government to ensure this.”

The suspension came into effect on Wednesday (June 22) and the facility is prohibited from “carrying out all anti-doping analyses on urine and blood samples”.

The Laboratory has the right to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport within 21 days.

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