RIO DE JANEIRO: Yet another setback has assailed the run-up to the Rop de Janeiro Olympics in August with the city’s dope-test laboratory being suspended by the World Anti-Doping Agency writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
The ban was imposed because it fails to comply with international standards – the sixth this year after Madrid, Bloemfontein, Beijing and Lisbon and Moscow.
This follows controversies over Brazil’s political crisis, cash problems, venue shirts and the withdrawal of a number of competitors out of concern at the zika virus.
Rio’s suspension prohibits the LADETEC laboratory from carrying out all anti-doping analyses on urine and blood samples. Officials may appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
The likelihood is that Olympic organisers, like World Cup officials two years ago, will have to fly all samples every day to another IOC-accredited laboratory elsewhere, perhaps in the United States. World Cup organisers used the accredited facility in Lausanne.
Olivier Niggli, the new diretor-general of WADA said: “Athletes can have confidence that the suspension will only be lifted by Wada when the laboratory is operating optimally.
“The best solution will be put in place to ensure that sample analysis for the Rio Olympic and Paralympic Games is robust.”
This is not the first time that LADETEC has been in trouble with the international sports authorities.
In January 2012 LADETEC was suspended from testing for nine months for falsely accusing a Brazilian beach volleyball player of doping.
Its license was also suspended for not complying with international standards in August 2013 and its accreditation revoked a month later. Hence Rio did not have a functioning anti-doping lab for the World Cup.