The only anti-doping laboratory in Africa, stationed in Bloemfontein, has been stripped of its accreditation.
According to a statement released by the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada), the testing centre lost its rights to monitor the use of prohibited substances in sport due to noncompliance with international standards.
The laboratory was suspended for five months in May last year, and its temporary ban was later extended.
In its latest assessment, Wada’s laboratory expert group found the testing centre had not satisfactorily addressed outstanding nonconformities, and the organisation’s executive committee revoked its accreditation.
The laboratory had 21 days to appeal the decision with the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
“The Wada executive committee shall revoke the accreditation of any laboratory if it determines that revocation is necessary to ensure the full reliability and accuracy of analytical testing and the accurate reporting of analytical results,” said the global anti-doping body.
While none of the remaining 32 Wada-accredited laboratories was stationed in Africa, however, the latest development was unlikely to affect current testing processes in South Africa.
Athlete samples have been sent overseas for testing since the Bloemfontein lab was suspended last year, and while the process takes a few days longer to produce results, the SA Institute for Drug-Free Sport insisted at the time it would not limit the number of tests conducted.