UFS laboratory’s accreditation restored

2018-10-17 06:04

Africa’s only World Anti-Do­ping Agency (Wada) accredited doping control laboratory at the University of Free State (UFS) in Bloemfontein has been re-accredited its status.

The university confirmed this in a media statement on 23 September.

The agency (Wada) announced the immediate and full restoration of the South African Doping Control Laboratory’s (SADoCoL) accreditation as of 21 September.

The laboratory was suspended on 2 May 2016 and its accreditation was revoked on 31 July 2017.

During this time, SADoCoL has retained its accreditation to perform blood analysis for Athlete Biological Passport.

“However, all urine analyses were performed by laboratories in Europe and elsewhere, which implied extra cost and inconvenience. The reinstatement of the accreditation is a culmination of careful planning and hard work.

“I wish to congratulate Dr Thinus van der Merwe and his team at SADoCoL on this achievement. SADoCoL can now once again take its rightful place among its peers in the international arena,” says Prof Francis Petersen, rector and vice-chancellor of the UFS.

Since January 2015,
SADoCoL has undergone major changes in consultation with other role players in doping control in South Africa and with the aid of international experts in the field, to once again be unique in the scope of its analytical doping control in Africa.

During this period of deve­lopment, new instrumentation and analytical techniques were acquired and validated, all of which now enables SADoCoL to fully serve the analytical requirements for doping control in sport in South Africa, the rest of Africa, and beyond.

Since its revocation, Wada has allowed the laboratory to prove its renewed analytical ability. Following the final accreditation test in March 2018, the Wada Laboratory Expert Group recommended that the executive committee of Wada reinstate SADoCoL’s accreditation, which led to the announcement of the laboratory’s full reaccreditation.

“SADoCoL wishes to express its appreciation to the local anti-doping role players, the executive management of the UFS, and the laboratories of the World Association of Anti-Doping Scientists for their support during this period of growth,” said Van der Merwe.

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