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WADA Partially Suspends UCLA Laboratory in Los Angeles

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A woman walks into the head office for the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in Montreal, Quebec, Canada on November 9, 2015. Photo: REUTERS/Christinne Muschi/File Photo

The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Olympic Analytical Laboratory has been partially suspended by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

The suspension of the lab, effective from June 14, is for a period of three months and a result of “WADA’s quality assessment procedures that identified non-conformities with best practice.”

Los Angeles is bidding for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and has proposed UCLA as the venue for their Athletes’ Village.

The laboratory is not located on the main campus of UCLA, however, but around three miles away.

No further details have been revealed.

During the suspension, the UCLA Laboratory can continue carrying out all of its regular anti-doping activities but must gauge another opinion on four substances.

“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,” a WADA statement said.

“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 a return to full compliance.”

The UCLA Laboratory was notified of the decision on June 16 and may appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport within 21 days.

As part of the process, WADA will conduct a UCLA site visit within a time-frame that “reasonably allows the laboratory to finalize implementation of all remedial actions.”

Founded in 1982 after a grant from the Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Organizing Committee, the UCLA facility was the first American Laboratory accredited by the International Olympic Committee.

Don Catlin formed the Laboratory and served as its director for 25 years.

Catlin is best known for being the man that developed the test for the detection of Tetrahydrogestrinone that led to a number of athletes linked to the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative, including Britain’s Dwain Chambers and the United States’ Marion Jones, being caught in one of the biggest doping scandals in history.

Disgraced American cyclist Lance Armstrong also employed Catlin in an effort to prove his innocence back in 2009, when he was initially dogged by rumors that he used banned performance-enhancing drugs

UCLA provided anti-doping testing at Los Angeles 1984, Atlanta 1996 and Salt Lake City 2002 – three American editions of the Olympic Games.

At 60 hectares, LA 2024’s proposed Athletes’ Village at UCLA would be the second most compact in the last six Summer Games.

Fifty-one percent of Olympians and 62 per cent of Paralympians would be able to train at the Village, with all others training at their competition venue.

insidethegames.biz has contacted Los Angeles 2024 for comment.

By Max Winters

Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz

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