World Anti-Doping Agency suspends SA’s testing licence

This suspension will be in place until after the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

World Anti-Doping Agency. Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG - South Africa's only accredited sports drug-testing laboratory will not be able to analyse any doping samples for five months after the World Anti-Doping Agency suspended its license.

This suspension will be in place until after the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

It's being widely reported that the Bloemfontein laboratory failed to meet the international agency's quality standards.

The World Anti-Doping Agency will now closely monitor the drug-testing laboratory at the University of the Free State and will conduct regular site inspections.

Many African countries send samples to this laboratory to test for possible doping, but will now have to direct their samples abroad.

The laboratory can only apply for the suspension to be lifted after September.

According to reports, the laboratory had previously indicated that samples would be re-routed to Qatar during upgrades which started in March.

Meanwhile, CEO of Drug Free Sport in South Africa Khalid Galant says the suspension handed to the country's only accredited drug testing laboratory, has not disturbed the way the organisation functions.

Galant says given that the lab has been closed since the beginning of March and this suspension doesn't change the way business has been running.

"The accreditation extension was expected. The suspension of the lab doesn't affect testing and control in sports. Since the Cape Epic in 2015 we've been sending all our samples to the Qatar lab and so testing has gone on as normal in South Africa."