WADA Suspends Accreditation of the Bogota Laboratory
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has suspended the accreditation of the Laboratorio de Control al Dopaje (the Bogota Laboratory) in Bogota, Colombia for a period of up to six months. The suspension is due to analytical issues, which led to a failure to comply with WADA’s External Quality Assessment Scheme (EQAS).
The suspension, which took effect on 20 February 2017, prohibits the Bogota Laboratory from carrying out any anti-doping activities including all analyses of urine and blood samples, and is intended to provide an opportunity for the Laboratory to make concrete improvements to its operations and ensure future compliance.
During the period of suspension, samples are required to be transported securely to another WADA-accredited laboratory, ensuring that athletes can have full confidence in continued high quality sample analysis and the wider anti-doping system. The decision to suspend the Bogota Laboratory is a direct result of the more stringent quality assessment procedures enacted by WADA to ensure that laboratories maintain the highest standards, and in turn, guarantee that the rights of clean athletes are protected.
Pursuant to Article 13.7 of the World Anti-Doping Code (Code), the Bogota Laboratory may appeal this decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport within 21 days of receipt of notice.
During the period of suspension, the Bogota Laboratory shall address all non-conformities identified by the Laboratory Expert Group or WADA in any request for corrective action or otherwise, as well as any additional non-conformities identified through any WADA site visit during the suspension period. If the Bogota Laboratory satisfies the Disciplinary Committee in meeting these requirements, it may apply for reinstatement prior to the expiry of the six-month suspension period. Should the Laboratory not address the non-conformities by the end of the six-month suspension period, WADA may extend the suspension of the Laboratory’s accreditation for an additional period of up to six months.
According to the International Standard for Laboratories (ISL), WADA is responsible for accrediting and re-accrediting anti-doping laboratories, thereby ensuring that they maintain the highest quality standards. This monitoring process is conducted in conjunction with International Organization for Standardization (ISO) assessment by independent national accreditation bodies that are full members of the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC).
Whenever a laboratory does not meet ISL requirements, WADA may suspend the laboratory’s accreditation (see Decision below).
Decision of the Chairman of the WADA Executive Committee:
- As a result of the non-conformities identified by the LabEG and confirmed by the WADA Disciplinary Committee, the WADA accreditation of the Bogota Laboratory shall be suspended for a period of up to six months (or for such shorter or longer period as may be determined in accordance with paragraph 7 or paragraph 8, below).
- The suspension shall be effective immediately and shall be notified to all stakeholders by announcement on the WADA website, in accordance with ISL Art 22.214.171.124.
- All samples not yet analysed and all samples currently undergoing “A” or “B” confirmation procedures, and all samples where a presumptive analytical finding has been reported as of the date of this decision, shall be securely transported with a demonstrable chain of custody to another WADA-accredited laboratory as soon as possible and in any event no later than 14 calendar days following the date of this decision.
- The suspension period is intended to provide an opportunity for the Bogota Laboratory to focus all its efforts on concrete improvements to its operations with the objective of ensuring future compliance.
- A laboratory site visit and satisfactory analysis of EQAS samples shall also be conducted at the Bogota Laboratory’s expense during the period of suspension, at a date to be determined by WADA, taking into account the time required by the Bogota Laboratory to address the non-conformities identified by the LabEG and confirmed by the WADA Disciplinary Committee.
- During the period of the suspension, the Bogota Laboratory shall address all of the said non-conformities, as well as any additional non-conformities identified by the LabEG or WADA in any request for corrective action or otherwise, including during the above WADA site visit. The LabEG should decide whether the Bogota Laboratory should be required to review any test results it previously reported and/or to reanalyse any samples.
- If the Laboratory completes all aspects of item 6 to WADA’s satisfaction prior to the expiry of the six month suspension period, it may apply to the Chair of the WADA Executive Committee for reinstatement of its WADA accreditation prior to the expiry of that period. In support of that application, the Laboratory shall provide documentation sufficient to demonstrate that all remedial and preventive actions required by WADA have been implemented in full, such that the Chair of the WADA Executive Committee can be confident in the accuracy and reliability of the doping control sample testing conducted by the Bogota Laboratory moving forward.
- Should any identified non-conformities not be resolved by the Bogota Laboratory by the end of the suspension period in a manner satisfactory to WADA, WADA may extend the suspension of the Laboratory’s WADA accreditation for an additional period of up to six months, in accordance with ISL Art 126.96.36.199.1.