WADA Threatens to Suspend Moscow Dope-Testing Lab for Olympics

Sochi Winter Olympic Countdown
Tourists take photographs in front of the Sochi Winter Olympics count down clock on October 30, 2013 in Moscow. Source: The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images

Nov. 17 (Bloomberg) -- The World Anti-Doping Agency threatened to suspend Russia’s drug-testing center for the Winter Olympics unless it moves to improve its procedures by Dec. 1.

The Moscow laboratory faces a six-month suspension unless it instigates a “comprehensive quality management program” to ensure “the necessary confidence in the accuracy and reliability of the results reported,” WADA said in a statement. The Winter Olympics take place in Sochi, Russia, from Feb. 7-23.

WADA said that although it’s not the responsible medical authority during the Games, it “strongly suggests” that the International Olympic Committee consider appropriate action to ensure the integrity of the analysis carried out by the lab “and/or its satellite in Sochi.”

The IOC said it’s “confident that all the necessary measures will be taken and the Sochi lab will be fully functioning during the Games.”

“The integrity of the Games-time testing program will remain unaffected by these developments, indeed it will be strengthened,” the IOC said in a statement cited by the Associated Press.

Last week soccer’s governing body said it will use a Swiss lab to test players at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil for doping violations after a Rio de Janeiro medical facility failed to regain WADA accreditation.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at celser@bloomberg.net