WADA suspends accreditation of Africa's only doping lab
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) yesterday suspended the accreditation of the drug-testing laboratory in South Africa, the only accredited facility in Africa and the latest lab to be stopped from working.
The South African lab won't be able to analyse any doping samples for five months until September 30 for failing to meet WADA standards. WADA will carry out inspection visits during the suspension to ensure that improvements are made.
Many other African countries, including top distance-running nations Kenya and Ethiopia, send doping test samples to the lab in the central city of Bloemfontein. They will now have to use other facilities.
The South African lab previously said it would be upgrading its facilities for six months from the beginning of April and would send some samples to Doha, Qatar, to be tested during that time. The lab, which is based at Bloemfontein's University of the Free State, said it would send urine samples to Qatar, but would still be able to analyse blood samples.
Yesterday, WADA suspended it from analysing any samples. The lab can apply for the suspension to be lifted before September 30, WADA said.
Bloemfontein is the latest facility to lose its accreditation. Last month, WADA suspended the accreditations of doping labs in Beijing and Lisbon, Portugal and revoked the accreditation of the lab in Moscow following allegations of wide-ranging corruption in the Russian anti-doping programme.
In March, Brazil just avoided losing the accreditation of its lab in Rio de Janeiro, which needs to test thousands of doping samples at the Olympics in August.