French anti-doping lab pronounced clean again

Paris (AFP) –


The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has reinstated the French laboratory at Chatenay-Malabry which was suspended in September because of contaminated samples.

The French anti-doping agency (AFLD) said on Thursday that the contamination came from samples taken from bodybuilders that contained extremely high concentrations of steroids.

The AFLD said that after the lab failed its test on August 28, it put corrective actions in place and passed an inspection on December 4-5. Among the steps were changing rinsing conditions, using "neutral" water-filled samples to detect contamination and switching, where possible, from reusable to disposable material, Mathieu Teoran, the AFLD secretary general told AFP.

The suspension, confirmed in late September days after Paris won the right to host the 2024 Olympics, was a blow to Chatenay-Malabry, which had long been at the cutting edge of testing and developed a test for blood-doping agent EPO in 2000.

The suspension also meant Chatenay-Malabry had to send samples to accredited labs abroad, which cost some 600,000 euros (or $712,000) from an annual budget of 10 million euros.

Suspensions of labs are not rare. Of the 32 labs accredited by WADA, three are currently suspended. Two more, in Bloemfontein, South Africa, and Almaty in Kazakhstan, were kicked off the approved list in June. The Los Angeles lab was partially suspended from June to October