Cape Town - 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
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
“There will therefore be no negative impact on the test distribution
plan for South African sport, and testing will continue to be robust,” he
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.