World Anti-Doping Agency Suspends Stockholm Laboratory After Poor Test Track Record

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is almost always in the news for handing out suspensions pertaining to performance-enhancing drug use, but 99.99% of the time the WADA is handing down a suspension to professional athletes that are of using these kinds of drugs or substances.

It isn’t every day that a laboratory is suspended by this organization, but that’s exactly what happened to a laboratory in Stockholm.

The Doping Control Laboratory at the Karolinska University Hospital has had its accreditation provisionally revoked by the WADA under charges that the laboratory has been very sloppy with the work that they have produced and that they aren’t following the protocols established by the WADA to the letter of the law.

This means that the Stockholm laboratory will have to cease examining athlete urine samples immediately, and that they may not be able to receive full accreditation to do this kind of work for the W ADA in the future, either.

Chairman of the WADA Executive Committee, Sir Craig Reedie, was the individual that handed down this provisional suspension of regularities had been discovered in the gas chromatography combustion isotope ratio mass spectrometer used to analyze urine samples elected by athletes from around the world.

These are regularities showed significant deviations from the International Standard for Laboratories, and brought into question each and every one of the results that had been put forward by this laboratory.

This specific piece of equipment is used to look at the carbon isotope ratio in the urine samples that have been collected by athletes competing around the world. The Carbon Isotope Ratio analysis is taken advantage of to figure out whether or not anabolic steroids and testosterone in urine samples have been produced naturally by an athlete or if the testosterone substances were introduced to the body from outside and foreign substances.

When working correctly, the Carbon Isotope Ratio test is able to observe the ratio of carbon 13 two carbon 12 isotopes, determining whether or not the metabolites here differ when compared to testosterone synthesized from plant material.

All sources of external testosterone are sourced directly from plant sources that have been synthesized, and if the Carbon Isotope Ratio was found to have been skewed it’s a positive test for an individual athlete using performance-enhancing drugs to supplement their testosterone levels.

This is not the first time that WADA accredited laboratories have been found to be lacking in their consistency or their overall testing protocols, particularly when it comes to checking for anabolic steroids.

A laboratory in France, the Laboratory of the Agence Française de Lutte Contre le Dopage, had its testing license and accreditation revoked by the WADA after it was found to have erroneously concluded that two separate athletes tested positive for anabolic steroids. These urine samples were retested at conforming laboratories and found to contain no sources of external testosterone, with both athletes being allowed to compete once again with their reputations cleared.

For their part, the Laboratory of the Agence Française de Lutte Contre le Dopage reported on its self when they discovered their mistake. They immediately alerted the WADA and notified them of the erroneous tests that they had produced, telling the WADA that both of the athletes weren’t just not guilty of using steroids but that they also had their test samples contaminated.

The Laboratory of the Agence Française de Lutte Contre le Dopage wasn’t following proper cleaning protocols after testing a batch of samples that had been collected from 80 different bodybuilders, with almost all of those bodybuilders testing positive for the same steroids that Laboratory of the Agence Française de Lutte Contre le Dopage claimed the two false positive test athletes were using as well.

The tests Laboratory of the Agence Française de Lutte Contre le Dopage conducted found a single bodybuilder be using more than 17 different performance-enhancing drugs, with another having a urinary concentration of testosterone that exceeded a 200 times ratio more traditionally seen in positive steroid cases. Casual rinsing of the equipment used to test for performance-enhancing drugs wasn’t enough to wash out the testosterone samples, and the trace residue led to the false positives that resulted.