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Rio anti-doping lab suspension lifted

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Russia will discover on Friday it has done enough to get back into world track and field's governing body, the IAAF, in time for its athletes to compete at the Rio Olympics. PHOTO/AFP.
WADA have lifted it’s suspension on Rio’s drug testing laboratory. PHOTO/AFP. 

BRASILIA, Brazil, July 21 – Rio’s drug testing laboratory had its suspension lifted by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), clearing it to operate at the Olympics that start on August 5.

The doping control laboratory was suspended on June 22 due to a non-conformity with the International Standard for Laboratories.

“The confirmation of the laboratory as an institution responsible for the anti-doping tests during the Olympics and Paralympics at Rio 2016 reinforces the confidence of the Brazil sports ministry and Brazilian anti-doping agency in the work carried out by the Rio anti-doping lab (LBCD),” said the Brazil sports ministry in a statement.

WADA’s all-clear was “signed by Craig Reedie, the president of the WADA executive committee… and the decision takes immediate effect,” added the Brazil ministry.

WADA said the reinstatement means Rio officials can resume testing blood and urine samples this week and that they see no need for further action against the lab.

“WADA is very pleased to announce that the Rio laboratory’s accreditation has been reinstated,” said WADA director general Olivier Niggli in a statement.

“All parties worked diligently to resolve the identified issue so that the laboratory could be up and running optimally for the Rio Olympic and Paralympic Games.

“Athletes can be confident that anti-doping sample analysis has been robust throughout the laboratory’s suspension and that it will also be during the Games.”

Around 7,000 samples will be tested by the Rio lab during the Olympic period.

A week after the laboratory was suspended in June, Brazil sacked the head of its anti-doping body.

Marco Aurelio Klein was replaced at the head of the Brazilian agency by former Brazilian Olympic judo champion Rogerio Sampaio.

The agency denied that Klein’s departure was linked to the suspension of its Rio laboratory, saying the switch is instead due to a change of government amid an impeachment trial against president Dilma Rousseff.

 

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