New Delhi: In a big blow to the anti-doping movement in the country, the National Dope Testing Laboratory (NDTL) in Delhi has been suspended for a period of six months by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
The WADA investigation found that the sample analysis methods of the NDTL were not up to the mark. The NDTL can appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) in Lausanne in the next 21 days.
The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) said the nation is in no position to bear the additional expense of sending the samples to a different country, most likely the WADA-accredited laboratory in Bangkok, Thailand.
With less than a year left for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) will carry on with sample collection (blood and urine) but will have to get it tested by a different WADA-accredited laboratory outside India during the suspension period of NDTL.
During the period of suspension, samples that have not yet been analysed by the NDTL; samples currently undergoing a confirmation procedure; and any samples for which an Adverse Analytical Finding (AAF) has been reported, must be securely transported to another WADA-accredited laboratory.
Lesser testing could mean more dope cheats being caught during competitions abroad, which would lead to major embarrassment for the country and in tainted sports like weightlifting, it could even end up with India’s suspension.