FIFA to use WADA lab in Switzerland, not Brazil, during World Cup
JOHANNESBURG (AP) - FIFA said Tuesday it will use a drug testing laboratory in Switzerland to test blood and urine samples during the 2014 World Cup because the facility in Brazil will not be re-accredited in time.
The World Anti-Doping Agency revoked the accreditation of the current Brazil lab in August.
Although a new one is being set up in Rio de Janeiro, it won't be ready in time for the start of the World Cup in June.
''As WADA confirmed that following due process the LADETEC laboratory would not be able to achieve re-accreditation in time for the World Cup, FIFA has no other option but to handle the analysis of samples abroad,'' football's governing body said in a statement Tuesday.
FIFA used the Swiss lab during the Confederations Cup this year to analyze the biological profile of players.
FIFA said it is ''taking the necessary logistical steps for the shipment of samples overseas'' to the Lausanne lab, northeast of Geneva, during next year's tournament.
FIFA will also become one of the first sports federations to implement a new steroid testing protocol for urine samples that will form a second part to the athlete biological passport, which currently just profiles a person's blood history. FIFA said the new ''steroid module,'' announced by WADA as being in operation from Jan. 1, will be used at next year's World Cup.
WADA President John Fahey downplayed the problem of using another lab during the World Cup earlier Tuesday, citing an example of the IAAF transporting 40 samples from runners in a remote region in Kenya to Lausanne to show it is a plausible method.
''FIFA, as an event organizer, will make arrangements to ensure their anti-doping program is still effective,'' Fahey said at the World Conference on Doping in Sport in South Africa. ''Clearly that will involve another laboratory. There is a transportation challenge there but it's not an insurmountable challenge. You can move samples these days with aircraft and regular fights to other laboratories.''
Brazil's anti-doping authority says it expects FIFA to conduct around 900 doping tests before and during the World Cup.
The Rio lab that Brazil was expecting to use was stripped of its accreditation in August by WADA, citing its ''repeated failures.''
Fahey warned that despite time constraints, the new laboratory would not be fast-tracked for the 2016 Rio Olympics and had to be fitted out and staffed properly before it could gain accreditation.
''I don't think it's going to happen in a hurry,'' he said. ''We will do our best to ensure it happens as soon as is possible but without compromising the quality that is essential ... for the work the laboratories must do.''
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