The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has instructed officials at Doha’s Anti-Doping Lab Qatar (ADLQ) to cease operating for four months.
The suspension took effect Nov. 7 because the lab failed to adhere to international quality standards.
However, WADA only announced the move yesterday, as Qatar prepared to host the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) General Assembly.
In a statement, the anti-doping agency said:
“The decision to suspend the laboratory is a direct result of the more stringent quality assessment procedures enacted by WADA to ensure laboratories maintain the highest standards.”
Qatar’s lab is one of five WADA facilities to be temporarily closed this year, according to the CBC.
There is an opportunity to appeal, but said in a statement today that it respect’s WADA’s decision and will work to resolve any issues.
The lab opened in 2012 and provides drug testing to athletes in the Gulf and across West Asia during competitions, training and in the off-season.
Part of its mandate is to run educational programs for athletes and eventually establish a more level playing ground by working to eliminate the use of illegal performance-enhancing drugs in sports.
ADLQ is currently prohibited from carrying out any anti-doping activities, including analyses of urine and blood samples.
Samples coming out of the laboratory are now required to be transported securely to another WADA-accredited laboratory.
If WADA’s Disciplinary Committee decides that the ADLQ has successfully resolved its quality control issues, the laboratory can petition to reopen before the suspension period is over.
Failure to comply with standards may result in WADA extending the suspension of the laboratory’s accreditation for an additional six months.
“We are confident that we will continue to work with WADA, NADOs, and other WADA-accredited laboratories, and support all efforts in the fight against doping in sports,” ADLQ said in its statement.