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WADA provisionally suspends Winter Olympics doping lab

Published:Monday | November 18, 2013 | 10:59 AM

JOHANNESBURG (AP):

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has provisionally suspended the Russian drug-testing laboratory for February's Winter Olympics in Sochi.




The Moscow Laboratory is suspended for six months but the suspension does not come into effect if the Moscow lab significantly improves the reliability of its results by December 1.



WADA, on Sunday, said its operations must improve or a six-month ban on the facility's accreditation will be imposed.



The Moscow lab is due to move some of its facilities to Sochi to handle the tests at the February 7-23 Winter Games.



WADA has already revoked the accreditation of the Brazilian testing laboratory, forcing FIFA to fly samples before and during the World Cup in June and July to Switzerland for analysis.



In response, the IOC stressed it was "confident" the Sochi lab would be in place for the games and the scrutiny on Russia's anti-doping laboratory would actually improve the quality of the testing at its Winter Olympics.



The IOC announced last week it would do more doping tests around the Sochi Games than any other Winter Olympics - nearly 2,500 in all.



In its statement, WADA said there was a second deadline of April 1, 2014, when the lab must ensure that program of improvement has been "drafted, finalised, implemented and embedded."



"If the two above-mentioned conditions are fully satisfied within the specified deadlines (to which no extensions will be granted), then the above referenced six month suspension of accreditation of the Moscow laboratory shall never come into effect," WADA said.



WADA is not the responsible medical authority for the upcoming Olympics but said it "strongly suggests" the International Olympic Committee (IOC) "consider appropriate action to ensure the complete integrity of all analysis" at the laboratory both in Moscow and the satellite facility at Sochi.



The IOC gave the Russian facility its support, saying that it is "confident that all the necessary measures will be taken and the Sochi lab will be fully functioning during the Games.



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