Wada provisionally suspends French anti-doping lab

PARIS • The French anti-doping laboratory at Chatenay-Malabry, where disgraced American cyclist Lance Armstrong's samples had been tested, has been provisionally suspended by the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada).

"This provisional suspension was imposed due to analytical issues self-reported to Wada by the laboratory," the agency said in a statement, without elaborating on the reasons.

"The provisional suspension, which took effect on 24 September 2017, prohibits the Paris Laboratory from carrying out any anti-doping activities, including all analyses of urine and blood samples.

"The provisional suspension will remain in place pending disciplinary proceedings being carried out by an independent Disciplinary Committee."

According to media reports, the issues originated from sample contamination. One positive sample from a bodybuilder contaminated two other samples with steroid, proving that the cleaning on testing machine was not sufficient to prevent the contamination.

The Chatenay-Malabry laboratory is where the urine test for the banned blood-booster erythropoietin (EPO) was developed in 1999.

In 2005, French sports newspaper L'Equipe, saying it had access to laboratory documents, reported that six of Armstrong's urine samples collected on the 1999 Tour de France showed "indisputable" traces of EPO. He repeatedly denied the allegations before admitting to doping in 2013.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 28, 2017, with the headline 'Wada provisionally suspends French anti-doping lab'. Print Edition | Subscribe