WADA reinstates Helsinki Laboratory accreditation

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) announces that, in accordance with the International Standard for Laboratories (ISL), WADA President, Witold Bańka, in his capacity as Chair of the Agency’s Executive Committee, yesterday approved, with immediate effect, the reinstatement of accreditation of the Helsinki Doping Control Laboratory (Helsinki Laboratory) at the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) in Helsinki, Finland. This reinstatement allows the Helsinki Laboratory to resume all of its anti-doping activities, including all analyses of urine and blood samples. 

In February 2019, the Helsinki Laboratory advised WADA of its wishes to self-suspend its anti-doping activities in order to finalize its plan to re-locate to a new facility under a new host organization; and therefore, it was suspended by the Agency on 15 February 2019. Following its successful relocation and resumption of activity, the Helsinki Laboratory has now successfully complied with all of the ISL’s requirements for reinstatement.

“WADA is pleased to confirm that the Helsinki Laboratory’s accreditation has been fully reinstated after establishing itself in new facilities under a new host organization. We commend the Laboratory for successfully undertaking this complicated move, particularly given the challenges and delays imposed by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” said WADA President and ExCo Chair, Witold Bańka. “We are confident that the Laboratory will continue to operate to the high standards required by WADA,” he added.

The Helsinki Laboratory’s suspension was not related to an analytical or compliance issue. Therefore, reinstatement was possible once the transfer to the new location and host organization was completed, and once it had met the stipulated conditions to restart operations in accordance with the ISL and its related Technical Documents. After reviewing the recommendation from WADA’s Laboratory Expert Group, the ExCo Chair approved reinstatement of the Helsinki Laboratory’s accreditation.

WADA is responsible for accrediting and re-accrediting anti-doping laboratories, thereby ensuring that they maintain the highest quality standards. When a laboratory does not meet ISL requirements, WADA may decide to suspend or revoke the laboratory’s accreditation. This monitoring role is conducted in conjunction with ISO/IEC 17025 assessment by independent national accreditation bodies that are full members of the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC).

As stipulated within the ISL, this decision is communicated to all relevant national public authorities; national accreditation bodies; National Anti-Doping Organizations; National Olympic Committees; International Federations and the International Olympic Committee. 

The full list of accredited laboratories can be found on WADA’s website.