Brazil says it can’t handle World Cup drug testing

With one lab suspended and its replacement unfinished, Brazil

won’t be able to handle drug testing for the 2014 World Cup alone

and is looking overseas for help.

The executive director of the country’s anti-doping authority

told The Associated Press on Thursday the new lab in Rio de Janeiro

should be running a year before the 2016 Olympics. But, Marco

Aurelio Klein added, the lab won’t be ready for the World Cup next

June and July.

The existing Rio lab that Brazil was expecting to use was

stripped of its accreditation last month by the World Anti-Doping

Agency. WADA cited ”repeated failures” by the facility. Without

accreditation, the lab isn’t authorized to do WADA-recognized

anti-doping activities.

Klein called the lab’s loss of accreditation a ”disaster.”

”Actually, it’s a problem of the new building. The new building

will be completed, will be ready, at the end of April, beginning of

May of 2014. Of course, it’s no time for the World Cup because you

need to move the equipment, the people,” he said. ”But we have no

problem for the Olympic Games.”

Klein said Brazil was proposing that accredited labs elsewhere

set up branches in the country to oversee the testing of World Cup

blood and urine samples. Under the proposal, the testing would

still be done using Brazilian equipment and facilities but would be

overseen by WADA-accredited labs overseas.

He suggested the WADA lab in Lausanne, Switzerland, could

oversee the testing of blood samples. Brazil could turn to labs

from Europe or the United States for help with the urine sampling,

he added.

”Of course, this plan must be approved by FIFA and by WADA,”

he said, adding that he and the lab director met with WADA

officials in Montreal last week.

In a statement to the AP, FIFA said it was looking at the

possibility of testing some blood samples in Rio and sending others

to Lausanne, and that this is the ”most likely” solution for the

World Cup.

In all, Klein said he expects FIFA will conduct about 900 tests

for the World Cup, both before and during the competition.

The existing Rio lab can reapply for accreditation but that’s

”not likely to occur for many months, in other words beyond the

World Cup, even if fast-tracked,” WADA director general David

Howman told the AP.

FIFA and WADA are discussing the World Cup testing effort, he

said.

”That will obviously not include the laboratory in Rio because

it hasn’t got accreditation,” Howman said. ”We’re confident an

outcome can be reached.”

AP Sports Writer Graham Dunbar contributed to this report.