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).