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WADA's Rio lab faces probe for false positive test

October 25, 2011

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland—The World Anti-Doping Agency's laboratory in Rio de Janeiro is facing an investigation after it mistakenly reported that a Brazilian beach volleyball player tested positive for doping.

The International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) said Tuesday it has asked WADA to examine a "regrettable incident" which falsely put Pedro Solberg under suspicion.

"In this important battle (against doping) we cannot afford losing confidence in the analytical results of WADA-accredited laboratories," FIVB President Jizhong Wei said in a statement. "As much as we need to identify and sanction those who cheat, we must ensure that no athlete is faced with a false positive," Wei said.

Brazil's only accredited lab would be expected to test samples from the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Rio Olympics.

Solberg gave WADA an out-of-competition sample in May which Rio researchers said contained testosterone.

The FIVB provisionally suspended Solberg but lifted the sanction one month later when the Rio lab delayed analyzing the backup sample. FIVB then questioned the Brazilian paperwork when the B-test confirmed the presence of banned drugs.

The governing body ordered retests from the WADA lab in Cologne, Germany, which proved clean last week.

Wei said he was "satisfied" that the FIVB's experts decided to ask for an additional analysis before deciding on a ban.

The FIVB will ask WADA to investigate why the Cologne findings contradicted Rio's.

"We trust that WADA will carefully look into this regrettable incident and will succeed in further harmonizing the analytical procedures used by the laboratories," FIVB Medical Commission president Roald Bahr said.

Three of WADA's 36 laboratories have been sanctioned since June 2010.

The laboratory in Ankara, Turkey, had its license revoked in June after falsely accusing basketball player Diana Taurasi of doping with a stimulant. Laboratories in Malaysia and Tunisia were suspended for unspecified failings.