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World Anti-Doping Agency Suspends Rio Olympics Testing Lab

  • VOA News

FILE - Lab technicians work at the Brazilian Doping Control Laboratory (LBCD) before a visit by Brazil's sports minister in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday, May 8, 2015.

FILE - Lab technicians work at the Brazilian Doping Control Laboratory (LBCD) before a visit by Brazil's sports minister in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday, May 8, 2015.

Rio de Janeiro has hit another bump in the road as it struggles to get ready to host the Summer Olympics in just six weeks.

The World Anti-Doping Agency has suspended the city's official drug-testing laboratory, barring it from performing any tests for six months.

WADA said Friday that the lab has committed "procedural errors" and is in "nonconformity with the International Standards for Laboratories."

No further details were released. The lab has 21 days to appeal the decision.

Rio Games spokesman Mario Andrada said this is "not a big deal" because test samples can be flown daily to labs in the United States and Europe.

Andrada said organizers are 100 percent committed to clean games, meaning a zero tolerance for athletes who use drugs to enhance their performances.

The drug-lab suspension adds to the problems Brazil is facing as the August 5 opening of the Summer Olympics draws closer: the president's impeachment, the Zika virus outbreak spread by mosquitoes, an economy in shambles, and widespread pollution in the waters around Rio, including some Olympic venues.

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