New Straits Times

New anti-doping lab coming up

- Fadhli Ishak

National Anti-Doping Agency of Malaysia (Adamas) confirmed that work has begun on setting up a new World AntiDoping Agency (WADA)-accredited lab in Malaysia.

It is, however, only expected to be fully functional five years from now.

Adamas director Datuk Dr Ramlan Abdul Aziz disclosed that there is still a lot of work to be done.

“It is not easy to set up another lab as we have to go through a number of steps such as physically setting up the lab (facility), preparing the equipment and expertise (personnel) needed to run the tests and also acquire accreditat­ion from WADA,” said Dr Ramlan, when met at the launch of the MCKK Premier Sevens rugby tournament in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. “We have been in early talks with WADA Asia and have also obtained financial support from the Economic Planning Unit. Two possible locations for the lab have also been identified, which I will leave to the Sports Ministry to announce.

“In terms of physical developmen­t it will take roughly two to three years while the accreditat­ion process itself will take another two years.”

Malaysia previously possessed a WADA-accredited lab at Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) Penang but its accreditat­ion was revoked in 2010 as it did not meet the test volume requiremen­t set by WADA.

The world body requires each lab to test at least 3,000 samples per year which Dr Ramlan believes should not be a problem to achieve now.

“WADA has continued to support the concept of having an accredited lab in Malaysia, preferably Kuala Lumpur as it would take away issues such as transporta­tion.

“When the old facility (Penang) lost its accreditat­ion in 2010, it was during a very challengin­g time for Malaysian sports in general as we were only beginning to gain momentum in a number of sports.

“We could only justify doing between 1,000 and 1,500 tests (per year) at the time. But now with more high performanc­e sports which are gaining stature internatio­nally this (3,000 tests) should not be a problem as we are also testing at the national level at competitio­ns such as the Malaysia Games.”

Ramlan disclosed that Malaysia will continue to send its samples to be tested in Delhi and Bangkok for the meantime.

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