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Suspension of the South African Doping Control Laboratory (SADoCoL) by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)
2016-05-04

The senior leadership of the UFS and the management of the South African Doping Control Laboratory (SADoCoL) take note of the decision by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to suspend the laboratory’s accreditation to perform doping control analysis on biological samples of athletes and sportsmen and -women until 30 September 2016. During this time of suspension, all sport-related samples will be sent for analysis to the WADA accredited laboratory in Qatar until the accreditation of SADoCoL is re-established. Analysis according to WADA accreditation will therefore not be interrupted during the period of the suspension of the accreditation of SADoCoL.

The announcement by WADA on 3 May 2016 follows a voluntary decision by SADoCoL in March 2016 to temporarily close the laboratory for some of its routine analytical duties for six months, as from 1 April 2016. The decision was taken in consultation with the senior leadership of the UFS and other role players, especially the Department of Sport and Recreation of South Africa (SRSA) and the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport (SAIDS). SADoCoL is a specialised service laboratory of the University of the Free State (UFS) and has been in existence for more than thirty years.

Due to the ever-increasing demands on the number, variety and analytical sensitivity of compounds to be analysed according to the Prohibited List of WADA, technical and infrastructure adaptations need to be implemented in the laboratory continuously to keep up with the demands. Over the last year, SADoCoL has drastically increased its capacity in both personnel and infrastructure, to a point where these changes can be implemented for optimal performance of the laboratory.  This has to be done while normal routine analysis continues, and it became clear that at present, implementation cannot be successfully accomplished together with the workload from normal routine analyses.

The time of suspension will be utilised to implement and test these new systems in order to achieve the standard presently required by WADA, as well as to perform development and improvements.  This development will be performed in close collaboration with other role players in the anti-doping movement in South Africa, such as SAIDS and SRSA. Scientific development aid will also be acquired from other doping control laboratories worldwide in order to assure that the high analytical quality is maintained and expanded to meet the fast growing challenges in this field. The progress of the process will be closely monitored, and the upgraded methodologies will then, after rigorous testing, be implemented to ensure that the required analytical quality is maintained so as to obtain re-accreditation by WADA at the conclusion of the suspension period.

Issued by: Lacea Loader (Director: Communication and Brand Management)
Telephone: +27(0)51 401 2584 or +27 (0) 83 645 2454
E-mail: news@ufs.ac.za
Fax: +27 (0) 51 444 6393

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