Today, 22 April 22, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) announced today that it has suspended the accredited laboratory in Seoul, South Korea, from carrying out steroid analysis for six months.
The suspension is in effect as of April 21. During this period of suspension, the Seoul laboratory will not be allowed to test for steroids, but may continue to test for other substances.
The laboratory was already in a "Phase I" status, meaning that it was temporarily suspended from international testing. At the national level, the laboratory was allowed to perform screening procedures, but analytically positive A-samples were required to be confirmed by another WADA accredited laboratory. The corresponding B-sample had also to be analyzed in the WADA accredited laboratory that provided confirmation on the A-sample.
WADA and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) had previously informed the Seoul lab that it needed to improve its analysis of steroid detection and subsequently carried out additional tests to confirm whether the improvements had taken place. The tests showed that the analyses still did not conform with WADA's International Standards for Laboratories and the lab, therefore, was suspended.
WADA will re-evaluate the status of the laboratory at the end of the six-month suspension period.
"It is important for WADA to take this prompt action to maintain athlete and public confidence in the sample analysis carried out by all our accredited laboratories,"
said Richard W. POUND, WADA's president. "We must take every measure to ensure that all steps in the doping control process meet our rigorous standards. The Korea laboratory will have, of course, the opportunity to improve its steroid analysis methods and be re-evaluated for full accreditation in six months."