SASCOC, having received notification from WADA relating to the temporary closure of the Bloemfontein Laboratory, is confident that the testing procedure as carried out by SAIDS will not be compromised or prejudiced in any way.
SASCOC is confident that the “normal procedure” currently adopted by SAIDS in having all doping control samples analysed through the WADA accredited laboratory in Doha Qatar, will not in any way impact on SASCOC’s preparation for Rio 2016, neither will same impact on the analyses done on behalf of its National Federations.
SASCOC trusts that the temporary closure of the Bloemfontein Laboratory will allow for the upgrade and investment in the long term sustainability of the Bloemfontein Laboratory in anticipation of providing world class analyses and service in time for the 2022 Commonwealth Games to be hosted in Durban, Kwa-Zulu Natal.
Testing will not be compromised, says SAIDS
Testing in South African sport will continue to be thorough and robust in spite of the temporary suspension of the University of Free State’s Bloemfontein laboratory, says the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport (SAIDS).
Samples taken by SAIDS will be tested at the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) accredited laboratory in Doha, Qatar, which has already been doing some testing for the South African organisation.
SAIDS chief executive officer Khalid Galant said “we want to reassure SASCOC and national sporting federations that testing will continue to be robust and will not be compromised”.
He added that results will still be reported “within the prescribed timelines”.
“There will therefore be no negative impact on the test distribution plan for South African sport, and testing will continue to be robust,” he added.
In March this year SAIDS began sending urine samples to Doha while the South African Doping Control Laboratory at the University of Free State in Bloemfontein temporarily shut down part of its operation. The laboratory had taken this step to give it an opportunity to upgrade equipment and improve staff capacity and training.
However, WADA this week suspended the accreditation of the laboratory until 30 September 2016.
The suspension prohibits the laboratory from carrying out any anti-doping activities, including all analyses of urine and blood samples.
WADA said in a statement that: “During the period of suspension, the laboratory shall address all non-conformities identified in its External Quality Assessment Scheme (EQAS) program and any other non-conformities identified in the course of WADA site visits during the suspension period.”
All blood and urine samples taken by SAIDS will now go to Doha.
The Bloemfontein laboratory operates independently of SAIDS and reports to the University of Free State.