27 August 2018

WADA approves an anti-doping laboratory in East Africa

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has approved Pathologists Lancet Kenya (Laboratory) in Nairobi, Kenya to carry out blood analysis for anti-doping purposes, making it the first such facility in East Africa to be successfully approved.

The Laboratory is the product of a nine-month project, funded by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) with support from the International Athletics Foundation (IAF) and the Lancet Group East Africa.

Starting in August 2018, the dedicated anti-doping Laboratory in Nairobi will perform blood analyses to support the Athletics Integrity Unit’s Athlete Biological Passport (ABP) program as well as other anti-doping programs operating in the area, such as that of the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK).

With the Laboratory now in the region, blood samples collected in East Africa will no longer have to be transported to anti-doping laboratories in Europe or South Africa for analysis, reducing costs and meaning the samples can be analyzed within tighter timeframes. 

Laboratories seeking to carry out analysis of doping controls for sports under the World Anti-Doping Code (Code) must achieve and maintain accreditation from WADA. The International Standard for Laboratories (ISL) and its related technical documents specify the specific and stringent criteria that must be met for accreditation. As per Article 6.1 of the Code, for cost and geographic access reasons, WADA may approve laboratories which are not WADA-accredited to perform particular analyses, such as analysis of blood for the ABP. Before approving any such laboratory, WADA ensures it meets the high analytical and custodial standards required. More information related to WADA laboratory accreditation and approval can be found on WADA’s website.