A new iteration of doping laboratory bottles is being scrutinized as a possible risk to sample integrity, per Reuters. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) was reportedly informed on January 19th that doping protocol bottles set to be used at the Winter Olympic in Pyeongchang less than a month from now, have a notable flaw.
The accredited laboratory in Cologne, Germany reported to WADA that the security bottles produced by Swiss company Berlinger Special AG and used to store athlete doping control urine and/or blood ‘may potentially be susceptible to manual opening upon freezing of a sample.’ Based on article 6.3.4 of the International Standard for Testing and Investigations (ISTI), sample collection equipment systems must, in addition to other criteria, have ‘a sealing system that is tamper-evident.’ Of the 2 samples taken during a doping test, typically just the B sample is frozen and only analyzed if the A sample has tested positively for a banned substance.
“This situation, if confirmed, will raise concerns and questions,” WADA said in a statement. “We wish to reassure athletes and other stakeholders that WADA is resolutely committed to following up with Berlinger until the matter is resolved, and that we will keep stakeholders apprised as the situation evolves.
Berlinger Special AG, told WADA it was unable to replicate the issue when the bottles ‘were handled per the product’s instruction.’
You can read WADA’s statement in its entirety here.