The Helsinki, Finland Doping Control Laboratory has advised the World Anti-Doping Association that it will be self-suspending its anti-doping activities while it relocates to a new facility under a new host organization.
Unlike most suspensions, Helsinki’s is a measured decision, not a punishment. Effective February 15th, the laboratory will not carry out any analyses of urine and/or blood for anti-doping purposes.
WADA reinforced that this was not a sanction, rather a logistical decision:
“As the Helsinki Laboratory’s suspension is not related to an analytical or compliance issue, it may apply for reinstatement once the transfer to a new location and host organization is completed; and, once it has met stipulated conditions to restart operations in accordance with the International Standard for Laboratories (ISL) and its related Technical Documents.”
The next closest laboratories meanwhile are in Oslo, Norway; Sweden, Stockholm; and Ghent, Belgium. Those laboratories are all certified to do both urine and blood analysis, though the Swedish laboratory is currently under a partial suspension, however, preventing it from undergoing anti-doping tests involving the gas chromatography combustion isotope ratio mass spectrometry method.
Other laboratories currently fully or partially suspended, per WADA‘s official list:
- Bucharest, Romania – full suspension, noncomformities with the International Standard for Laboratories (ISL) – November 29, 2017
- Stockholm, Sweden – partial suspension of anti-doping tests involving the gas chromatography combustion isotope ratio mass spectrometry method – Augusts 1, 2018
Note that WADA has completely removed the Moscow Laboratory at the center of the current Russian anti-doping controversy has been removed from the WADA list entirely.