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Just 42 days before the Olympics starts, WADA suspends Rio drug lab

There are yet more concerns about the integrity of the Rio Games with under six weeks to go.

Samples during the Games may now be sent overseas.
Samples during the Games may now be sent overseas.
Image: AP/Press Association Images

THE WORLD ANTI-Doping Agency (WADA) has suspended the accreditation of the Brazilian Doping Control Laboratory in Rio de Janeiro just six weeks before the Olympic Games commence.

WADA on Friday revealed that the laboratory in the host city for the Games was suspended on Wednesday “due to a non-conformity with the International Standard for Laboratories”.

The sanction could now see doping samples taken during the Rio Games flown for assessment overseas, with WADA warning that the ban will only be lifted once the Rio laboratory is “operating optimally.”

Incoming WADA director general Olivier Niggli said:

“In the meantime, WADA will work closely with the Rio Laboratory to resolve the identified issue. The Agency will ensure that, for the time being, samples that would have been intended for the Laboratory, will be transported securely, promptly and with a demonstrable chain of custody to another WADA-accredited laboratory worldwide.”

“This will ensure that there are no gaps in the anti-doping sample analysis procedures; and that, the integrity of the samples is fully maintained.

Athletes can have confidence that the suspension will only be lifted by WADA when the Laboratory is operating optimally; and that, the best solution will be put in place to ensure that sample analysis for the Rio Olympic and Paralympic Games is robust.”

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