The Canada-based World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has suspended the accreditation of the South African Doping Control Laboratory in Bloemfontein until 30 September 2016.
The suspension, which takes effect immediately, prohibits the Laboratory from carrying out any anti-doping activities including all analyses of urine and blood samples, WADA said. “During the period of suspension, samples are required to be transported securely to another WADA-accredited laboratory, ensuring that athletes can have full confidence in continued high quality sample analysis and the wider anti-doping system,” it said.
WADA said the Laboratory may appeal the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport within 21 days of receipt of notice.
It said during the period of suspension, the laboratory shall address all non-conformities identified in its External Quality Assessment Scheme (EQAS) programme and any other non-conformities identified in the course of WADA site visits during the suspension period. “If the laboratory satisfies the Disciplinary Committee in meeting these requirements, the laboratory may apply for reinstatement prior to 30 September.”
According 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.
This monitoring process is conducted in conjunction with International Organization for Standardization (ISO) assessment by independent national accreditation bodies that are full members of the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC). Whenever a laboratory does not meet ISL requirements, WADA may suspend the laboratory’s accreditation.