WADA approves lifting of Analytical Testing Restriction on the Havana Laboratory


The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) announces that, following a recommendation from WADA’s Laboratory Expert Advisory Group (Lab EAG) dated 7 November 2023, the Chair of WADA’s Executive Committee (ExCo), Witold Bańka, has approved lifting the Analytical Testing Restriction (ATR) for the Gas Chromatography / Combustion / Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry (GC/C/IRMS) method that was initially imposed on the anti-doping laboratory in Havana, Cuba, on 16 November 2022

The ExCo Chair’s decision to lift the ATR took effect on 9 November 2023. Consequently, as of this date, the laboratory was able to resume all of its anti-doping activities. However, as part of the decision to lift the ATR, the laboratory shall seek a second opinion before reporting an Adverse Analytical Finding (AAF) or Atypical Finding (ATF) based on GC/C/IRMS analyses for a period of 12 months of the date of the decision. 

The ATR was initially imposed for a period of up to six months as a result of the Havana Laboratory’s non-compliances with the International Standard for Laboratories (ISL), the Technical Document for Endogenous Anabolic Androgenic Steroid and the Technical Document for Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry. In June 2023, in accordance with the ISL, the ATR was extended for a period of six months due to justified delays in addressing the conditions to lift it. 

In October 2023, WADA’s Lab EAG reviewed the requested documentation provided by the Havana Laboratory. The documentation included evidence that the laboratory’s GC/C/IRMS method and management procedures were fit-for-purpose and compliant with the ISL and relevant Technical Documents. 

Under the ISL, WADA is responsible for accrediting and re-accrediting anti-doping laboratories, thereby ensuring they maintain the highest quality standards.