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article imageAnti-doping lab for Sochi Winter Olympics may lose accreditation

By Karen Graham     Nov 17, 2013 in Sports
With less than three months before the start of the Sochi Winter Olympics, Russia's only World Anti-doping Agency approved laboratory could lose its accreditation because of unacceptable test results during a routine evaluation process.
World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) president John Fahey spoke with news reporters on Friday at the end of a four-day World Conference on Doping in Sport, reporting that the agency has set up a disciplinary committee to investigate Russia's anti-doping laboratory.
The Moscow Anti-Doping Center, located in Moscow is alleged to have failed in getting acceptable results in a routine evaluation done earlier by WADA. Fahey declined to elaborate on the specifics of the problem with the Moscow lab.
The Moscow lab was expected to do the drug screening for the Winter Olympics from a satellite lab in Sochi. If they lose their accreditation, they would not be able to perform the 1,269 pre-competition, and 2,453 Olympic tests needed during the games.
It was learned through anti-doping officials familiar with the situation that the lab had fallen below the agency's standards. A team of experts had then reported their findings to the agency with the recommendation that the lab be stripped of its accreditation.
It was learned the Russian lab had produced false-positives during a routine evaluation process that involved blind and double-blind studies of blood and urine samples for banned drugs.
They also failed to catch samples that had known banned drugs in them. While not finding a drug in a known sample is bad, the number of false-positives gave officials more cause for concern. This means the laboratory can't perform its duties properly.
Should the Moscow Anti-Doping Clinic lose its accreditation, it will be a huge embarrassment for President Vladimir Putin, who has wanted nothing more than for Russia to be seen as putting its best foot forward.
Already under scrutiny from the world because of anti-gay legislation earlier, this debacle would not bode well. It is understood that specimens would have to be sent to an accredited WADA laboratory in another country with the cost being paid by the Russian Olympics organization committee.
Russia is not alone in having a laboratory to not meet accreditation standards. In August of this year before the start of the World Cup soccer tournament, the WADA anti-doping lab in Rio de Janeiro lost its accreditation because of repeatedly posting false-positives in their evaluation.
WADA President Fahey told news reporters that while the "paperwork was extensive, it needs to be worked through in the proper fashion to get the correct outcome.” Fahey said he would have to decide how and whether he would discipline the lab.
More about antidoping, Moscow, world antidoping agency, Winter olympics, False positive
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