Wada suspends Africa’s only accredited laboratory

Henry

The World Agency Against the Use of Prohibited Drugs (Wada) has temporarily suspended the accreditation of Africa’s only accredited drug testing laboratory due to failure to meet various international standards.

Wada says in a statement that the suspension of the accreditation of the South African Drug Control Laboratory (SADoCoL) in Bloemfontein applies for six months.

Several restrictions were already placed on the laboratory in Bloemfontein in September, while some other operations related to tests against the use of prohibited substances were allowed to continue.

However, Wada says experts have advised the agency to suspend the facility’s accreditation due to “several non-conformities with the international standard for laboratories”.

“The suspension prevents the laboratory from continuing any operations regarding the use of prohibited substances.”

This includes the analysis of urine and blood samples. The analysis related to individual athletes’ hematological profiles may still be done.

During the suspension, samples that have yet to be tested, samples that have yet to go through the confirmation procedure and any samples where a negative analytical finding has been made, will have to be sent to another Wada-accredited laboratory for analysis.

“This is to ensure high-quality sample analysis, which also protects athletes’ confidence in the process and the larger system against the use of banned substances,” says Wada.

Wada says the laboratory will be allowed to apply for reinstatement after proving that all the identified deficiencies have been properly resolved.