UFS dope lab ready for SWC

2010-05-18 18:54

Bloemfontein - The official dope testing centre for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the SA Doping Control Laboratory (SADoCoL) at the University of the Free State (UFS), is ready to do business, a spokesperson said on Tuesday.

"We have new state-of-the-art equipment worth R3.9m with which doping tests for next month's 2010 FIFA World Cup will be done," the head of the laboratory, Pieter van der Merwe, said.

"Our new instruments are some of the best in the world."

SADoCoL, at the department of pharmacology at the UFS, has done doping analyses for many international sport events in South Africa and elsewhere in the world.

This included the 1995 Rugby World Cup and the Sevens Rugby World Cup in Dubai.

Van der Merwe said the laboratory's international recognition and accreditation with the World Anti-Doping Agency led to its selection as the official doping control facility for the World Cup.

All urine and blood samples taken at the event would be tested at the laboratory.

The UFS laboratory is the only one of its kind in South Africa and one of only two in Africa, the other one being in Tunisia.

Van der Merwe said there was a lot of "African involvement" at the laboratory because various African countries send it samples for analysis.

The laboratory also did testing for the Confederations Cup in South Africa in 2009.

Van der Merwe said it was an honour for the department and the UFS to offer a world-class service to an association such as FIFA and to be associated with a tournament of this magnitude.