Press releases 3rd October 2019

WADA suspends accreditation of Athens Laboratory

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has suspended the accreditation of the Doping Control Laboratory of Athens, Greece for a period of up to six months. This suspension has been imposed due to non-conformities with the International Standard for Laboratories (ISL) as identified during a WADA site visit, including in relation to the lack of institutional support and investment for the laboratory.

In August 2019, disciplinary proceedings were initiated by WADA’s Laboratory Expert Group (LabEG) and subsequently carried out by an independent Disciplinary Committee, which was mandated to make a recommendation to the Chair of the WADA Executive Committee regarding the status of the laboratory’s accreditation. This process is now complete.

The suspension, which took effect on 1 October 2019, prohibits the laboratory from carrying out any anti-doping activities, including all analyses of urine and blood samples. During the period of suspension, relevant samples must be securely transported to another WADA-accredited laboratory for analysis, in accordance with the guidance provided in the ISL. This is in order to ensure continued high-quality sample analysis, which also helps preserve athletes’ confidence in this process and the wider anti-doping system.

Pursuant to Article 13.7 of the World Anti-Doping Code, the 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 laboratory shall address all non-conformities identified by the LabEG or WADA in any request for corrective action or otherwise, as well as any additional non-conformities identified during any follow-up WADA site visit during the suspension period.

If the laboratory satisfies the LabEG 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 up to an additional six months.

In accordance with the 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).

• This media release was published by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) on 3 October 2019. Click here for the original.

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