Boy, this would really be a problem if Brazil were going to host any major international sporting events in the next, say, three years.
The problems at the Rio de Janeiro clinic, known as Ladetec and the only one in the country accredited by the World Anti-Doping Agency to test athletes' samples, date back a while. In January of 2012, Ladetec falsely accused a Brazilian volleyball player of doping with Androstanediol. A WADA investigation found it had improperly performed a certain testing procedure, and suspended the lab from performing isotope ratio mass spectrometry for nine months.
At the time, Brazils' WADA rep said it was no big deal—Ladetec just wasn't particularly good with certain testing methods.
"It is important to understand that not all labs are proficient in every technique. This is something normal that can happen to laboratories. The problem would have been if (Ladetec's) accreditation had been revoked."
Well, here we are. Earlier this month, after multiple site visits, WADA again suspended Ladetec, and yesterday announced it will revoke the lab's credentials. From WADA's statement:
"The revocation will enter into force September 25, 2013 and means that the laboratory – which is currently suspended – will no longer be authorised to carry out the testing of doping control samples on behalf of Wada or any testing authority.
"In the meantime, the suspension remains applicable and Ladetec is therefore ineligible to perform analysis of doping control samples for any testing authority."
There's no detail given on what exactly the lab did, or failed to do, only that it was in "non-compliance with the International Standard for Laboratories," which are WADA-conceived guidelines. Ladetec can appeal the permanent revocation of its credentials before the international Court of Arbitration for Sport, but the suspension can't be fought.
This is a huge issue for Brazil and WADA. Ladetec was to test the samples from next summer's World Cup and the 2016 summer Olympics, and there's not another site in the country that's qualified to take its place. But even more than that, it's another useful reminder that PED testing is only as good as the people carrying it out.