WADA suspends Kazakhstan anti-doping lab, 4 days after Rio

ALMATY, Kazakhstan (AP) Four days after shutting down work at the Olympic drug test laboratory in Rio de Janeiro, the World Anti-Doping Agency said it has suspended another lab, this time in Kazakhstan.

WADA said on Tuesday that the lab in Almaty had its accreditation suspended from last Friday for four months as ''a direct result of the more stringent quality assessment procedures enacted by WADA.''

WADA did not say how exactly the Almaty lab failed to pass such an assessment.

As well as announcing a suspension for the Rio lab also last Friday, a move which plunged Olympic drug testing into uncertainty, WADA has also suspended labs in China, Spain, South Africa, and Portugal this year.

The lab in Moscow lost its accreditation altogether after accusations its former director helped to cover up doping by Russian athletes, sparking a round of new checks at other labs worldwide.

The Almaty lab reportedly opened in 2003 and is one of the lesser-known of the 35 labs approved worldwide by WADA. Last week, Kazakhstan Prime Minister Karim Masimov was quoted by local media as ordering officials to find private sponsors to finance an upgrade of the facilities.

That came shortly after four Kazakh gold medalists in weightlifting from the 2012 Olympics were announced to have failed retests of their samples. They stand to lose their medals.

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