Bloemfontein is South Africa’s Doping Control Laboratory and it served as the official drug testing lab of the 2010 World cup being the only World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) accredited lab in Africa.
The South African Doping Control Lab has however lost its prestigious status as it becomes the fourth lab in the world to get its accreditation suspended by the World Anti-Doping Agency in the past month. Bloemfontein joins other doping control labs in Moscow, Beijing and Lisbon in being prohibited from carrying out any WADA-related anti-doping activities.
With this latest suspension, Africa currently has no WADA accredited labs to speak of. The World Anti-Doping Agency was founded with the aim of bringing consistency to anti-doping policies and regulations within sport organizations and governments right across the world and it has a mission to lead a collaborative worldwide movement for doping-free sport.
There still remain 31 WADA-accredited labs in other parts of the world and all hope is not lost as WADA says that Bloemfontein may apply for reinstatement before 30 September. The four suspended doping control labs can also appeal about the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
WADA released a statement to the effect of Bloemfontein’s suspension stating;
“WADA has suspended the accreditation of the South African Doping Control Laboratory (Laboratory) in Bloemfontein until 30 September 2016.
“The suspension, which takes effect immediately, prohibits the Laboratory from carrying out any anti-doping activities including all analyses of urine and blood samples. During the period of suspension, samples are required to be transported securely to another WADA-accredited laboratory, ensuring that athletes can have full confidence in continued high quality sample analysis and the wider anti-doping system.
“Pursuant to Article 13.7 of the World Anti-Doping Code (Code), the Laboratory may appeal this decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport within 21 days of receipt of notice.
“During the period of suspension, the laboratory shall address all non-conformities identified in its External Quality Assessment Scheme (EQAS) program and any other non-conformities identified in the course of WADA site visits during the suspension period. If the laboratory satisfies the Disciplinary Committee in meeting these requirements, the laboratory may apply for reinstatement prior to 30 September.
“According to the International Standard for Laboratories (ISL), WADA is responsible for accrediting and re-accrediting anti-doping laboratories, thereby ensuring that they maintain the highest quality standards.
“This monitoring process is conducted in conjunction with ISO assessment by independent national accreditation bodies that are full members of the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC).
“Whenever a laboratory does not meet ISL requirements, WADA may suspend the laboratory’s accreditation.”