Eager to reduce costs and delays, the SA Institute for Drug-Free Sport (Saids) is to rally behind the University of Free State’s laboratory in Bloemfontein in its attempt to regain international status.
The testing centre was stripped of its accreditation by the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) last week after failing to meet international standards.
Though it would still test blood samples of athletes, it would not be able to test urine. These samples would be sent overseas.
Since the laboratory was suspended in May last year, Saids had sent samples to be analysed at testing centres in Gent, Rome, Doha, Lausanne and Salt Lake City.
While none of the 32 Wada-accredited laboratories are stationed in Africa, the latest development was unlikely to affect current testing processes in South Africa, Saids chief executive Khalid Galant reaffirmed.
“Results take a bit longer to report because one has to factor in travel times of samples to overseas laboratories,” he said.
The costs of sending samples overseas had also increased “substantially”.