19 March 2019
The World Anti-doping Agency has advised that four accredited laboratories are temporarily suspending their activities and it is likely that more will follow.
Currently Rome (Italy) Montreal (Canada), Madrid and Barcelona (Spain) have temporarily suspended operations and it is likely that more laboratories will follow this action.
Breaking – London laboratory will close on Friday
The outcome is that some samples may be redirected to another accredited laboratory, while some will be stored frozen for analysis at a later date.
The impact is that athletes may not receive their results in a timely fashion. However they should not be complacent in assuming that ‘no news is good news’. This delay in analysis could mean results are not available for months. It is important that athletes are aware of this situation and monitor closely reporting of results.
Be aware which testing authority is responsible for sample collection and who will report the results. Monitor and track their receipt.
Although testing agencies have downscaled their sample collection activities, some national programmes are continuing.
There is no doubt that this could put athletes at risk, not only from the virus itself but also from assumptions that any unwillingness to participate in an anti-doping test is suspicious or even constitutes a refusal.