The Only Doping Control Lab in Africa Is Back In Business
The South African Doping Control Laboratory is now approved, by WADA (The World Anti-Doping Agency), to start testing blood samples again.
In May of this year, WADA suspended the lab, after it failed to meet international standards. What exactly were the reasons behind this? We’re still unsure, however, the implications were massive.
As this is Africa’s only accredited drug testing lab, it caused a huge amount of distress for athletes all around Africa preparing for the 2016 Rio Olympics.
They now had to find a new WADA-accredited lab. And with only 31 left around the world, it posed as quite a challenge. In fact, WADA actually shut down four other labs prior to the Olympics this year alone.
Cleared to Test Blood Doping Samples Again
Initially, WADA suspended The South African Doping Control Lab until the 30th of September.
But because the team took this time off to upgrade all its facilities and improve staff capacity, they officially re-opened early in August.
SAIDS (The South African Institute for Drug-Free Sports) had to send all blood samples to Doha, Qatar during this time. Now with the re-opening, everyone is rather relieved.
“This is good news. WADA holds its laboratories to the highest standards and there are obvious benefits to having the testing done in our own country.” says SAIDS chief executive officer, Khalid Galant. “We are confident the laboratory will soon also be accredited to again test urine samples,” he continues.