7 June 2016

WADA Laboratory suspensions: A timeline

Currently, the Moscow, South African, Beijing, Lisbon and Madrid laboratories have been suspended by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), just 60 days before the start of the Rio 2016 Olympics. The suspensions mean that there are 30 WADA-accredited laboratories in operation. They mean that there is no WADA-accredited laboratory in Africa, and all athlete samples must be shipped to Qatar for analysis. Iberian athletes will be tested at the Barcelona laboratory, since the accreditation of the Lisbon and Madrid laboratories was suspended by WADA earlier this year. UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) has partnered with the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) – which has received partial reaccreditation for blood analyses as part of the Athlete Biological Programme (ABP) – to test Russian athletes ahead of Rio. In this timeline, we track how this extraordinary situation has developed.


3 December: ARD documentary alleges systemic doping in Russian sport.


12 May: Rio and Turkish laboratories reaccredited by WADA.

9 November: WADA Independent Commission (IC) report published. Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov, former Director of the Moscow laboratory, admits destroying 1,417 samples. IC report finds that Lausanne laboratory destroyed 67 samples sent from Moscow which WADA had asked it to retain.

10 November: WADA suspends Moscow laboratory.

10 November: Relying on WADA’s Independent Observer (IO) report, IOC states it has ‘no reason to question’ the credibility of anti-doping at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics. This is despite the IO report identifying suspicious people operating within the laboratory.

19 November: The Sports Integrity Initiative reports that Martial Saugy, Director of the Lausanne laboratory, acted as a paid consultant for the Local Organising Committee of the Sochi Games.

8 December: Internal report clears Lausanne laboratory of breaking any rules regarding the destruction of samples sent from the Moscow laboratory, which WADA had asked it to retain.


15 April: WADA revokes accreditation of the Moscow laboratory; and suspends the accreditation of the Lisbon laboratory.

22 April: WADA suspends the accreditation of the Beijing laboratory.

3 May: WADA suspends the accreditation of the South African laboratory. Samples to be transferred to the Qatar laboratory for analysis.

8 May: Rodchenkov alleges that the Sochi 2014 laboratory was corrupt.

17 May: WADA announces formal investigation into claims that Sochi 2014 laboratory was subverted.

25 May: WADA reinstates accreditation of Moscow laboratory for blood analyses connected to the Athlete Biological Passport (ABP).

3 June: WADA says that Rodchenkov may have information on whether laboratories at the Kazan 2015 FINA World Championships & Sochi 2014 Paralympics were also corrupt. Russia took 80 medals at the 2014 Paralympics, more than five times that of its nearest rival (Germany, 15).

6 June: WADA suspends the accreditation of the Madrid laboratory. Ruling is a ‘direct result’ of its 19 March decision to declare the Spanish anti-doping agency (AEPSAD) non-compliant.

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