Drug-testing lab will be operational for Games: Rio chief

Thu Mar 3, 2016 12:15pm EST
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By Martyn Herman

LONDON (Reuters) - The anti-doping laboratory that will test athletes during this year's Olympic Games will be fully WADA compliant by this month's deadline, Rio organizing committee president Carlos Nuzman said on Thursday.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) stripped the $25 million Laboratorio Brasileiro de Controle de Dopagem (LBCD) of its accreditation in 2013 because it failed to meet required standards, re-instating it last year.

But unless Brazil changes its doping laws to conform to global regulations by the March 18 deadline, the anti-doping tests for the Games could be moved elsewhere at considerable cost.

"The lab will be fully accredited with the correct legal framework, which will mean full operations for the Games," Nuzman told Reuters at a news conference in London.

"All the wording has been approved by the IOC, WADA, the federal government and the organizing committee. We prefer to do it by March 15. We expect to have this final document by then."

WADA rules say doping cases must be heard by an independent specialized tribunal as opposed to a general sports court, as is the current process in Brazil.

A Rio spokesman said Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff would sign a decree to change the law with immediate effect.

Doping is one of many issues dogging the build-up to South America's first Olympics, with Russia currently barred from international competition and Kenya struggling to implement new anti-doping measures by an April deadline or be ruled non-compliant.   Continued...

Olympics - Rio 2016 Press Conference - St Martins Lane Hotel, London - 1/9/15
President of the Organising Committee for Rio 2016, Carlos Nuzman during the press conference
Action Images via Reuters / Paul Childs