Russia’s Drug Testing Lab Suspended Until Improvements are Made
The Olympics is considered one of the highest levels of sport competition. Athletes throughout the world come together regardless of political, religious and cultural differences to compete. Even though sports competitions are supposed to be fair, the use of performance enhancing drugs has unfortunately tainted them throughout the years. With the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia around the corner, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has provisionally suspended the Russian Drug-Testing lab until the lab improves its facilities.
As of this past Sunday, WADA suspended the Moscow Anti-doping Center due to the center's inability to provide reliable drug testing results. The facility has till December 1 to make improvements that would increase WADA's confidence in the center's ability to effectively test athletes. If the center does not change anything, it faces a six-month suspension, which includes the Sochi games. If the Moscow Anti-Doping Center is closed, the drug tests for Sochi 2014 would need to be sent elsewhere, which could cost the city substantially more money. The improvements must be "drafted, finalized, implemented and embedded" by April 2014.
WADA is technically not responsible for any medically-related tasks during the upcoming winter Olympics. WADA has recommended the International Olympic Committee (IOC) about the Moscow Anti-Doping center. According to the Associated Press reported by ABC News, the IOC is "confident that all the necessary measures will be taken and the Sochi lab will be fully functioning during the Games."
"The integrity of the Games-time testing program will remain unaffected by these developments, indeed it will be strengthened," the IOC added.
According to the IOC President, Thomas Bach, there will be 2,453 tests before and during the Olympics. He announced during the World Conference on Doping in Sport that the 1,269 pre-competition drug tests could cost one million dollars. The IOC also stated that the total number of tests would cost millions.