WADA: FIFA can overcome World Cup doping lab issue
JOHANNESBURG (AP) - The president of the World Anti-Doping Agency says it's highly unlikely a new testing laboratory in Brazil will be ready for next year's World Cup, but it's a problem FIFA can overcome.
John Fahey said there would be a ''transportation challenge'' for soccer's governing body to test player samples out of Brazil.
WADA revoked the accreditation of the current Brazilian lab this year and a new one is being set up, and Fahey said it is ''almost certain'' that won't happen before the start of the World Cup in June.
''But FIFA, as an event organizer, will make arrangements to ensure their anti-doping program is still effective,'' Fahey said at the World Conference on Doping in Sport in South Africa. ''Clearly, that will involve another laboratory.''
FIFA plans to fly samples from Brazil to Switzerland for testing. Fahey cited track and field's ruling body as an example of how this can be done. The IAAF transported 40 samples from a remote region in Kenya to Switzerland.
Brazil's anti-doping authority expects FIFA to conduct about 900 doping tests for the World Cup, both before and during the competition. The Rio lab Brazil was expecting to use was stripped of its accreditation in August by WADA, which cited ''repeated failures'' by the facility. Without that accreditation, the lab isn't authorized to carry out WADA-recognized anti-doping procedures.
Fahey warned that despite time constraints, the new lab would not be fast-tracked for the 2016 Rio Olympics and had to be fitted out and staffed properly before it could gain accreditation.
''I don't think it's going to happen in a hurry,'' he said. ''We will do our best to ensure it happens as soon as is possible but without compromising the quality that is essential ... for the work the laboratories must do.''
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