WADA apologises for timing of Qatar lab suspension

our correspondents
November 17, 2016

DOHA: WADA head Craig Reedie apologised Wednesday to Olympics officials furious at the timing of an announcement that Qatar’s main drug testing analysis laboratory was suspended. The World...

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DOHA: WADA head Craig Reedie apologised Wednesday to Olympics officials furious at the timing of an announcement that Qatar’s main drug testing analysis laboratory was suspended.

The World Anti-Doping Agency revealed on Monday that the laboratory’s work would be suspended for four months — just as more than 1,000 officials descended on Doha for the annual meeting of the Association of National Olympic Committees.

Officials said the timing of the announcement threatened to overshadow the two-day summit, which saw Budapest, Los Angeles and Paris present their bids for the 2024 Olympics on Tuesday.

“I apologise fully that this happened. It was not, I promise you, intentional,” said Reedie.

“I decided that the process should be finished on Wednesday last week (9th), I hoped it would be finished before the general assembly in Doha.”

He added: “There is never a good time to announce the suspension or even more strict sanctions on a laboratory.”

Reedie was taken to task by Sudanese and Spanish delegates as well as Sheikh Ahmad al-Fahad al-Sabah, president of the Olympic Council of Asia, head of ANOC and a member of the International Olympic Committee, after delivering a speech to delegates.

Sabah was particularly concerned that the announcement was meant to maximise embarrassment for ANOC members and Qatar.

“I am really worried about the timing of such reports,” said Sabah. “We didn’t see or hear anything until yesterday.”

And he added that it was not the first time Olympic officials had been embarrassed by WADA, pointing to the timing of previous reports by the world doping body.



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