Cape Town - Doping control samples taken
from athletes in South Africa will be tested in Doha, Qatar, for six months
while operations at the WADA-accredited laboratory that normally does the
analysis are being upgraded.
The South African Doping Control Laboratory based
at the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein will be shutting down part
of its operation for six months to perform equipment upgrades and to improved
staff capacity and training.
The laboratory will not do any urine sample
analyses for six months from April 1, but will continue to test blood samples.
“We support the steps being
taken by the Bloemfontein laboratory and understand that it has been under
severe resource constraints,” said SAIDS chief executive officer
“We are working together with the
University management and Laboratory staff to ensure that this is just a
temporary measure and it will be back online and operating as well as ever
after the six-month break.”
Galant pointed out that the Qatar laboratory was accredited by the World
Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in August 2015 and is a world class facility.
The turn-around time of analyses will not be compromised because there are two
flights to Qatar every day from South Africa to transport samples.
therefore be no negative impact on the test distribution plan for South African
sport and testing in sport will continue to be robust,” he said.
Blood analysis for Athlete Biological Passports
and growth hormones would continue to be done in Bloemfontein.
The laboratory is
the only one in Africa accredited by WADA to do doping control analyses.