Seal of approval for Anti-Doping Lab
Posted on 24/04/2012
The London Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) today marked the successful accreditation of the London 2012 Anti-Doping Laboratory.
The accreditation, granted by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), is the final seal of approval for the laboratory which is provided by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and operated by King’s College London.
The WADA accreditation process, which spanned a two year period, was based on two international standards - ISO/IEC 17025, and the International Standard for Laboratories – which required the laboratory to undergo a series of rigorous tests to establish its analysis credentials.
The process also involved several site visits from WADA’s Science Department and the ISO/IEC accrediting body prior to the granting of accreditation.
Assessments have focussed on the facility, equipment, procedures and staffing during three formal inspections and dummy sample testing.
Jonathan Harris, LOCOG Head of Anti-Doping said: 'The WADA accreditation is a green light signal that the lab is ready. The successful partnership between LOCOG, GSK and King’s has enabled us to present to WADA a brilliant laboratory for King’s to operate at Games time.'
Jonathan Edwards, LOCOG Chair of Athletes Committee and Olympic Triple Jump gold medallist, said: 'Ensuring athletes come to London with confidence in the LOCOG Anti-Doping programme and the London 2012 laboratory is very important.'
WADA President John Fahey said: '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.
'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.'
Professor David Cowan, Head of King’s College London’s Drug Control Centre and Director of the London 2012 anti-doping laboratory, said: 'I am thrilled to receive official accreditation from WADA at such an early stage. 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.'
Sir Andrew Witty, CEO of GlaxoSmithKline said: 'Achieving WADA accreditation is another important milestone in the delivery of a world-class London 2012 anti-doping laboratory and GSK is delighted to have played a key role in this process. We have worked in partnership with King’s to put systems in place to ensure that the testing carried out by this laboratory supports both the integrity of the London 2012 Games and the health of all athletes.'
Over 6250 samples will be analysed throughout the Olympic and Paralympic Games, up to 400 each day which is more than at any other Games. The laboratory, which measures the size of seven tennis courts, will be in operation 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Over 1,000 LOCOG staff will work within the Anti-Doping process and a team of more than 150 anti-doping scientists will carry out the testing at the laboratory, led independently by Professor David Cowan from the Drug Control Centre at King’s.
The laboratory, which has been provided by pharmaceutical company GSK, will be operated by leading anti-doping experts from King’s and supported by scientists from around the world.
The anti-doping programmes driven by LOCOG during the London 2012 Games will create a legacy of knowledge about anti-doping operations and processes.
In addition to providing the laboratory facility, GSK in 2011 signed a long-term agreement with WADA to share information about medicines in development with a view to developing early detection methods.