POSTED: June 24th 2016

Olympics: WADA suspends Rio doping control laboratory six weeks to the start of the Games

Rio 2016 kicks off six weeks to today © Getty Images
Rio 2016 kicks off six weeks to today © Getty Images

LAURA WALDEN (USA) / Sports Features Communications

(SFC) The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) just announced that the Brazilian Doping Control Laboratory has been suspended with immediate effect as of June 22nd due to non-conformation with the International Standard for Laboratories (ISL). The laboratory has 21 days to appeal the decision with the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The Rio 2016 Games receive yet another blow as the Laboratório Brasileiro de Controle de Dopagem - LBCD - LADETEC / IQ - UFRJ gets the axe just a little over a month until the opening of the Summer Games. This means that it will not be able to process urine or blood samples during the Olympics

Olivier Niggli, Incoming Director General, said, "In the meantime, WADA will work closely with the Rio Laboratory to resolve the identified issue. 

"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. 

"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. 

"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."

The Rio lab was also suspended during the hosting of the FIFA World Cup in 2014 and testing had to be sent back to the Lausanne, Switzerland laboratory at FIFA's expense. However anti-doping testing for the Olympics is more complicated and this makes one more challenge for the Rio organizers with an already full plate as the clock winds down on preparations with 42 days to go.

**LAURA WALDEN has over twenty-five years of experience in the Olympic Movement, formerly at the European Olympic Committees with SportEurope under former IOC President Dr. Jacques Rogge and IOC Member Mario Pescante. She worked with the Rome 2004 and Turin 2006 Olympic bids and also managed PR & media for Dr. Jacques Rogge during his campaign for the presidency.

Keywords · Olympics · Rio 2016

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