World doping watchdog shuts down Rio anti-doping lab
The World Anti-Doping Agency said it has suspended the lab’s accreditation due to “non-conformity with the International Standard for Laboratories.” It did not give details of the non-conformity.
The suspension is an embarrassment to Brazil and Rio so close to the games, which will open Aug. 5 after months of political turmoil and financial crisis for federal, state and city authorities.
“This is another severe blow,” Mario Andrada, the spokesman of the Rio Games organizing committee said. “We might not resolve this lab situation before the games. We might have to choose another lab outside Brazil to do the tests. .”
If the Rio lab is not reinstated in the next six weeks, other testing centers with WADA accreditation include: UCLA in Los Angeles; Salt Lake City; Bogota, Colombia; Havana; and Mexico City.
In a statement, the International Olympic Committee said the suspension would not “affect either the integrity or the scope of the testing program” at the games.
The IOC said it will “decide which accredited laboratory to use after the assessment by WADA, which is the body responsible for the accreditation of anti-doping laboratories.” However, officials at the Rio lab believe the conformity issue can still be solved in time.