Olympic Drug Lab Itself is Suspended

Summer games open in Rio in 6 weeks

 

The Brazilian medical laboratory responsible for processing Olympic drug test samples, instead has been suspended by the World Anti-Doping Agency, a division of the International Olympic Committee.

The suspension commenced June 22, 2016. Rio Laboratory may appeal the suspension, levied because of "a non-conformity with the International Standard for Laboratories."

Incoming director Olivier Niggli assured that, "WADA will work closely with the Rio Laboratory to resolve the identified issue." He also added that athletes should be confident in how the situation will be resolved.

If that lab is not operational by the start of the Olympic Games in late July, samples would need to be flown to Switzerland, said an anonymous IOC commissioner.

WADA issued the following statement:

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) announces that, due to a non-conformity with the International Standard for Laboratories (ISL), it has suspended the accreditation of the Brazilian Doping Control Laboratory (Laboratório Brasileiro de Controle de Dopagem – LBCD – LADETEC / IQ – UFRJ) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil [Rio Laboratory].

The suspension, which took effect on 22 June 2016 when the Rio Laboratory was notified, prohibits the Laboratory from carrying out all anti-doping analyses on urine and blood samples. It may appeal the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport within 21 days of receipt of notice.

"In the meantime, WADA will work closely with the Rio Laboratory to resolve the identified issue," said Olivier Niggli, Incoming Director General. "The Agency will ensure that, for the time being, samples that would have been intended for the Laboratory, will be transported securely, promptly and with a demonstrable chain of custody to another WADA-accredited laboratory worldwide," Niggli continued. "This will ensure that there are no gaps in the anti-doping sample analysis procedures; and that, the integrity of the samples is fully maintained," he continued. "Athletes can have confidence that the suspension will only be lifted by WADA when the Laboratory is operating optimally; and that, the best solution will be put in place to ensure that sample analysis for the Rio Olympic and Paralympic Games is robust."

A Disciplinary Committee will be formed shortly and will be required to review the case, on the basis of the Procedural Rules adopted by the WADA Executive Committee. This Disciplinary Committee will issue a recommendation with respect to the Rio Laboratory's accreditation status.

Pursuant to the International Standard for Laboratories (ISL), WADA is responsible for accrediting and re-accrediting anti-doping laboratories; thereby, ensuring that they maintain the highest quality standards. Whenever a laboratory does not meet ISL requirements, WADA may decide to suspend or revoke the laboratory's accreditation (see Decision below).

Decision of the Chairman of the WADA Executive Committee

1. The accreditation of the Brazilian Doping Control Laboratory is provisionally suspended with immediate effect.

2. This provisional suspension shall remain in effect until the earlier of:

2.1 Six months from the notification of this decision.

2.2 Decision of the Chairman of the WADA Executive Committee or of the WADA Executive Committee upon possible suspension or revocation of the WADA accreditation of the Brazilian Doping Control Laboratory, on the basis of the recommendation to be issued by the Disciplinary Committee for the International Standard for Laboratories.

All samples not yet analyzed and all samples currently undergoing "A" or "B" confirmation procedures and all samples where a presumptive analytical finding has been reported as of the date of this decision shall be securely transported with a demonstrable chain of custody to another WADA-accredited laboratory as soon as possible and no later than 14 calendar days following the date of this decision.

This decision is notified to all relevant national public authorities, national accreditation bodies, national anti-doping organizations, national Olympic committees, international federations and the International Olympic Committee, as stipulated in the International Standard for Laboratories.

 

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