October 14 - The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has served notice that no additional anti-doping laboratories will be approved over the next five years in either Europe or North America.
Outlining its strategy for the anti-doping laboratory network, the Montreal-based body has indicated that the overall number of labs is likely to be restricted to 40 until at least 2018, and that growth is likely to be focused in Africa and Latin America.
Support would be given, WADA said, to "developing a programme to strengthen the analytical capability of the Bloemfontein laboratory in South Africa and a further new laboratory in the northern part of Africa".
A third laboratory, "in the central region of Africa", would be examined and thereafter development encouraged.
Support was also noted for "two additional laboratories in Latin America".
A total of 33 accredited laboratories for doping control analysis are currently listed on WADA's website.
One of these - the LAB DOP - LADETEC UFRJ doping control laboratory in Rio de Janeiro - has, however, had its accreditation revoked by WADA, effective September 25.
The Brazilian Sports Ministry is funding a new $7 million (£4.4 million/€5.2 million) home for LADETEC, with construction expected to be completed next year.
The situation has attracted much publicity with Brazil due to host both the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the Rio 2016 Olympics and Paralympics.
WADA also emphasised that the lack of new facilities in Europe would be "with the exception of the re-accreditation of Turkey".
WADA said that central to the approval of new labs anywhere in the world would be the requirement that "the host country has in place a robust and compliant anti-doping programme".
It added: "A key part of future strategy is the support for collaborative activities.
"WADA will increasingly support the usage of existing laboratories for major events.
"Furthermore, cooperation amongst WADA anti-doping laboratories will be encouraged, in particular for conducting specific analyses that require costly or high-technology equipment."
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