Cape Town - The University of Free State’s Bloemfontein doping control laboratory
has been cleared to start testing blood samples again - a move warmly welcomed
by the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport (SAIDS).
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has informed the laboratory that it
is now authorised to conduct doping control analyses of blood samples.
“This is good news,” said SAIDS chief executive
officer Khalid Galant.
“WADA holds its laboratories to the highest standards
and there are obvious benefits to having the testing done in our own country.”
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 took
the step to give it an opportunity to upgrade equipment and improve staff
capacity and training. In May WADA suspended
the accreditation of the laboratory, prohibiting it from carrying out any
anti-doping activities, including all analyses of urine and blood samples.
WADA said in a statement at the time that: “During the period of
suspension, the laboratory shall address all non-conformities identified in its
External Quality Assessment Scheme (EQAS) programme and any other
non-conformities identified in the course of WADA site visits during the
All blood and urine samples taken by SAIDS were sent go to Doha.
However, on August 8 the laboratory was informed that the laboratory now
fulfilled the WADA requirements for blood testing.
“This is a big step in the right direction and we are confident the
laboratory will soon also be accredited to again test urine samples,” said
The Bloemfontein laboratory operates independently of SAIDS and reports
to the University of Free State.