Brazil may be going into a full-blown meltdown at the moment, from President Dilma Rousseff’s impeachment process to the ongoing Zika epidemic, but at least the country’s athletes are clean and healthy. In fact, so stringent and effective are its new anti-doping methods that it’s even offered Argentina a hand in making sure our athletes are in the clear before the all-knowing World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
“It was discussed that Argentine athletes’ samples be analyzed in Río, but they were sent to Bogotá in the end. Regardless, we’re still at Argentina’s disposition, we understand that their anti-doping agency is newer than ours. We know what they’re going through because we’ve been there too,” said Brazilian Anti-Doping Authority Secretary Marco Aurelio Klein.
Back in November 2015, WADA caimed that Argentina fell short of the nation’s National Anti-Doping Organization (ONA) standards for failing to use accredited laboratories to test blood and urine in order to detect performance-enhancing drugs. Argentina has to send its sampled abroad to accredited labs because it does not currently have the proper, WADA-accrdeitted equipment. WADA lifted sanctions and declared the country to be compliant with regulations again back in February, but samples still have to be sent abroad.
Brazil is actually ranked in ninth place as the country with the most cases of doping, according to WADA statistics, but after the Río de Janeiro laboratory lost its accreditation back in September 2013 for failing to comply with WADA standards, Brazil not only managed to reclaim the proper accreditation but now boasts state-of-the-art equipment.
“No other laboratory has the quality and quantity of technology we have here,” Francisco Radler de Aquino, lab director, said probably rather smugly.
The lab even says it’s ready to deal with the eventuality of genetic doping whereby you effectively “edit” someone’s genealogy to stop or promote certain aspects being activated – such as a gene to increase the red blood cells you produce or to stop the body creating lactic acid.
Argentina has also just built a new, updated lab but the Brazilians are so damn proud of their own they’ve offered to test Argentine samples. Thanks Brazil!
Although WADA has no authority over the sanctioning of Argentina’s athletes or sports federations, it does have some major influence when it comes to the world of international sports. Case in point: following the publication of a WADA report highlighting the less-than-squeaky-clean status of Russian athletes, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) suspended all Russian athletes and federations indefinitely.