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World doping agency strips Rio laboratory's accreditation before Olympics

By
Allen Cone
MaracanĂ£ Stadium was the site of the 2014 World Cup in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and also will be where the opening and closing ceremonies will take place. The World Anti-Doping Agency has suspended the country's drug testing lab. File photo by Chris Brunskill/UPI.
MaracanĂ£ Stadium was the site of the 2014 World Cup in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and also will be where the opening and closing ceremonies will take place. The World Anti-Doping Agency has suspended the country's drug testing lab. File photo by Chris Brunskill/UPI. | License Photo

RIO DE JANEIRO, June 25 (UPI) -- The World Anti-Doping Agency suspended the accreditation of Rio's drug-testing laboratory six weeks before the Brazilian city hosts the Summer Olympics.

The ban took effect Wednesday and bars Ladetec from carrying out anti-doping analyses on urine and blood samples.

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The lab may appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport within 21 days of the notice.

The agency has previously suspended labs in Moscow, Madrid, Bloemfontein, Beijing and Lisbon.

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"Athletes can have confidence that the suspension will only be lifted by WADA when the laboratory is operating optimally," said Wada's incoming director general Olivier Niggli.

"The best solution will be put in place to ensure that sample analysis for the Rio Olympic and Paralympic Games is robust."

The doping agency plans to work with the lab "to resolve the identified issue," said Niggli.

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"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," Niggli continued. "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."

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The nearest agency-accredited lab is 2,800 miles away in Bogota, Colombia.

The agency did not say why the lab failed to conform to standards. In January 2012, Ladetec was suspended from testing for nine months for falsely accusing a Brazilian beach volleyball player of doping. In 2013, its license was also suspended for not complying with international standards and its accreditation revoked a month later before World Cup in 2014.

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