WADA suspends Beijing anti-doping lab
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[April 22, 2016]
By Brenda Goh
SHANGHAI (Reuters) - The World Anti-Doping
Agency (WADA) suspended the accreditation of Beijing's National
Anti-Doping laboratory on Thursday, weeks after launching a probe into
drugs allegations in Chinese swimming.
The laboratory, suspended for a maximum of four months, has 21
days to appeal the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport
"The suspension, which takes effect immediately, prohibits the
laboratory from carrying out any WADA-related anti-doping activities
including all analyses of urine and blood samples," WADA said in a
WADA said the laboratory could apply for reinstatement before the
four months was up if it took remedial steps and tackled
"non-conformities", without providing details.
China's national anti-doping agency said the laboratory had
submitted "two false negative results" during blind tests conducted
by WADA in 2015.
"The laboratory will resume testing work after its changes have been
reviewed by WADA," the agency said in a statement on its website
State news agency Xinhua later quoted the laboratory as saying that
the false negative results were caused by "technical errors" because
it had yet to update testing methods to meet WADA's latest
The laboratory was also negligent in its analysis, it said.
"At present, the laboratory is undergoing a complete review and
improvement of its detection methods, in order to meet WADA's latest
requirements," Xinhua quoted the lab as saying.
China's anti-doping program has been under scrutiny in recent weeks
following a British newspaper report that alleged Chinese swimming
had covered up positive drugs tests ahead of Olympic trials for the
Rio de Janeiro Games to avoid a "storm".
The Times report prompted WADA to investigate the allegations.
China's anti-doping agency denied there had been a cover-up and said
they needed time to test secondary 'B' samples and conduct hearings
before releasing further information.
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The Chinese Swimming Association subsequently announced it had
issued a "warning penalty" to swimmers Wang Lizhuo and An Jiabao
after they tested positive for the banned substance clenbuterol.
A third swimmer Zhao Ying, who also tested positive for clenbuterol
in an out-of-competition test, was named but had not yet been
punished, the association said last month.
The country's anti-doping agency courted controversy in 2014 after
keeping a three-month drugs ban handed to Olympic 1,500 meters
freestyle champion Sun Yang under wraps for six months.
China (five golds) finished second to the United States (16) in the
swimming medal table at the 2012 London Olympic Games and are tipped
to be a force at the Rio Games.
WADA also revoked the accreditation of a Moscow anti-doping
laboratory in Russia for failing to meet standards last Friday.
The lab had been non-operational since WADA suspended it in November
after an independent commission's report identified systematic
failures within Russia's anti-doping program.
Russia is currently suspended from international track and field in
the wake of the report exposing widespread cheating and corruption
and its athletes could miss the Rio Olympics.
(Writing by Ken Ferris and Ian Ransom; Editing by John O'Brien)
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