The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has partially suspended its accreditation of the UCLA Olympic Analytical Laboratory (UCLA Laboratory) as it relates to analysis of specific prohibited substances, effective 14 June 2017 for a period of three months. The suspension of these analyses by the UCLA Laboratory — which is located in Los Angeles, California, United States — is a result of WADA’s quality assessment procedures that identified non-conformities with best practice.
The Agency’s procedures focus on consistent analysis being carried out by WADA-accredited laboratories in order to ensure comparable, valid and reliable results; which, in turn, is intended to give athletes greater confidence and trust in the global anti-doping system.
It is important to note that, during the suspension, the UCLA Laboratory can continue carrying out all its regular anti-doping activities. However, the Laboratory must obtain a second opinion from another WADA-accredited laboratory prior to reporting any Adverse Analytical Finding (AAF) for the glucocorticoids ‘prednisolone’ and ‘prednisone’; and, the anabolic steroids ‘boldenone’ and ‘boldione’.
This type of suspension, which is limited to certain substances or classes of substances and that has been applied to other WADA-accredited laboratories in the past, allows for appropriate monitoring of the UCLA Laboratory to ensure full implementation of necessary improvements with the objective of return to full compliance.
On 14 June 2017, an independent WADA Disciplinary Committee, which was advised by WADA’s Laboratory Expert Group (LabEG), delivered its recommendation to the Chair of the WADA Executive Committee that was accepted. On 16 June, the UCLA Laboratory was notified of the Decision.
The UCLA Laboratory may appeal the Decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) within 21 days of receipt of notice.
As part of the process, WADA will conduct a UCLA Laboratory site visit within a timeframe that reasonably allows the Laboratory to finalize implementation of all remedial actions.
According to the International Standard for Laboratories (ISL), WADA holds the right to accrediting and re-accrediting anti-doping laboratories, thereby ensuring that they maintain the highest quality standards. This monitoring process is conducted in conjunction with International Organization for Standardization (ISO) assessment by independent national accreditation bodies that are full members of the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC). Whenever a laboratory does not meet ISL requirements, WADA may suspend the laboratory’s accreditation.