Madrid laboratory suspended by WADA in a blow to city's Olympic bid

Saturday, 22 December 2012
By Mike Rowbottom

Anti-doping labDecember 22 - The Madrid testing laboratory has been suspended from carrying out anti-doping analyses for three months by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), and its head of quality control has resigned following a testing anomaly.

The timing of the decision is an embarrassment to Spanish officials as it comes only three weeks before organisers from Madrid 2020 are due to hand in the city's Candidature File to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for its bid for the Olympics and Paralympics. 

In a statement, WADA commented: "Whenever a laboratory does not meet ISL (International Standard for Laboratories) requirements, WADA may suspend the accreditation.

"WADA will re-evaluate the status of the laboratory at the end of the suspension period."

The director of the Agency State doping (AEA), Ana Munoz, has reportedly accepted the resignation of the laboratory's head of quality control.

According to a statement released by the AEA, the Madrid laboratory reported to WADA that in August, "during the test phase prior to the analysis of a urine sample and as a result of the mistake of a laboratory technician, a sample was contaminate with another precedent that contained a high concentration of prohibited substance.

"This fact caused the laboratory report of an adverse event in the sample to the athlete as well as the corresponding Federation."

The AEA report added "the result was not ratified later in the analysis of sample B and..the Centre acknowledged the error.

"No procedure was followed sanctioning anything against the athlete."

The WADA statement added: "Pursuant 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 is conducted in conjunction with ISO assement by indiependent national accreditation bodies that are full members of the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC)."

Alejandro Blanco and David Howman at meeting in Madrid 2012It was only in April that the Spanish Government and Spanish Olympic Committee tried to reinforce their unity in the fight against drugs in sport to WADA chief, David Howman

In April, at a high level meeting in the Spanish capital Alejandro Blanco, head of the Spanish Olympic Committee (COE) and Madrid 2020, together with the Secretary of State for Sports, Miguel Cardenal, reiterated to David Howman, the general director of the WADA, the country's commitment for drug free sport.

Following the meetings at the COE and the Ministry of Sports , the group also paid a visit to the anti-doping Laboratory in Madrid together with two other high ranking WADA officials, Julien Sieveking, senior manager of legal affairs, and Emiliano Simonelli, senior manager of code compliance.

Earlier this year WADA partially suspended the Rio laboratory which will play a major part in Brazil's hosting of the2014 World Cup finals and the 2016 Olympics and Paralympics, restoring full operation in October.

The laboratory had initially indicated a positive test against a Brazilian beach volleyball player, only for the result to be contradicted by the testing of the B sample.

The laboratory at Ankara also had its accreditation suspended in June 2011 after it reported a false positive involving American basketball star Diana Taurasi.

Its accreditation was only restored by WADA last month.

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April 2012: Madrid 2020 tries to reassure WADA that Spain is tough on drugs in sport
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