London Olympic lab declared ready by WADA

The laboratory that will test athletes at the London Olympics

has been declared ready by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

The lab at King’s College London Drug Control Center was

accredited by WADA on Monday following a two-year testing program

that examined the lab’s equipment, staff and procedures.

Officials from WADA’s science department made several visits to

the lab in central London, with the site subject to three formal

inspections and dummy sample testing.

The King’s College lab usually deals with about 8,000 samples

per year. It expects to handle more than 6,250 during the Olympics

and Paralympics, with about half the competing athletes and every

medalist set to be tested.

”Achieving WADA accreditation means that the London 2012

Anti-Doping Laboratory will operate to the highest standards of

sample analysis during the Olympic and Paralympic Games,” WADA

President John Fahey said.

”Doping athletes must know that there is a very good chance

they will be tested this summer and that everything scientifically

possible – and with the assistance of growing intelligence – will

be done to make sure that their efforts to cheat are detected by

the experts at the laboratory.”

The laboratory is the size of seven tennis courts and will test

as many as 400 samples per day during the Olympics and Paralympics

– more than at any previous games. It will run 24 hours a day.

”The WADA accreditation is a green light signal that the lab is

ready,” said Jonathan Harris, the London organizing committee’s

anti-doping manager.

More than 1,000 staff from the London organizing committee will

be involved in anti-doping efforts, with 150 scientists working at

the lab.

Some results will be available within 24 hours of the test.

”I am thrilled to receive official accreditation from WADA at

such an early stage,” lab director David Cowan said. ”We have

demonstrated that everything is in place and we are well prepared

to deliver robust testing for the games.

”This accreditation provides recognition of our ability to

operate an effective anti-doping laboratory.”