SA Doping Laboratory in Bfn to temporarily close down

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Doping control samples taken from South African athletes will have to be sent to Doha, Qatar, in the coming six months.

The University of the Free State spokesperson, Lacea Loader, says the South African Doping Control Laboratorysituated on campus, which is accredited by  the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), will temporarily shut down from 15 April. This is in order to upgrade equipment and train staff.

The specialised laboratory is the only one in Africa to perform doping control analyses on biological samples of athletes.

Loader says the laboratory has been in existence for more than thirty years and has been equipped with the necessary instrumentation to perform its duty as one of thirty five similarly accredited laboratories over the globe.

“Due to 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 continuously implemented in the laboratory to keep up with the demands.”

“The laboratory will focus on capacity building and the implementation of the latest methodologies during this period,” says Loader.

Experts from other WADA accredited laboratories will also assist in crucial aspects of this process. The upgraded methodologies will be implemented after rigorous testing to be sure that the required analytical quality is maintained.

Loader says the turn-around time of analyses will not be compromised.

-Mark Steenbok