WADA suspends South Africa doping laboratory

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) said on Monday it has suspended Africa’s only accredited drug-testing laboratory due to “multiple non-conformities” with international standards.

In a statement, WADA said it had suspended the accreditation of the South African Doping Control Laboratory in Bloemfontein for up to six months.

The Bloemfontein lab had already seen some restrictions imposed in September last year, while other anti-doping activities were allowed to continue.

However WADA said experts had advised the agency to suspend the facility’s accreditation due to “multiple non-conformities with the International Standard for Laboratories.”

WADA said the Bloemfontein laboratory had accepted the suspension, which took effect on March 1.

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“The suspension … prohibits the Laboratory from carrying out any anti-doping activities, including analyses of urine and blood samples, with the exception of analysis related to the Athlete Biological Passport hematological module,” WADA said in a statement.

WADA said during the suspension, samples awaiting analysis, samples currently undergoing a confirmation procedure and any samples where an adverse analytical finding has been reported must be transported to another WADA-accredited laboratory for analysis.

“This is in order to ensure continued high-quality sample analysis, which also helps preserve athletes’ confidence in this process and the wider anti-doping system,” WADA said.

WADA said the laboratory would be allowed to apply for reinstatement once it had demonstrated all the identified “non-conformities” had been addressed.

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