London 2012 unveils anti-doping laboratory

L-R Hugh Robertson,Paul Deighton (LOCOG),Andrew Witty (GSK),Prof. David Cowan

The London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) has unveiled the WADA accredited anti-doping laboratory which will operate during the London 2012 Games.

Based in Harlow, Essex, the World Anti-Doping Agency accredited laboratory will analyse 6,250 samples throughout the Olympic and Paralympic Games, more than at any previous Games.

The facility, which has been provided by pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline, will be operated by leading anti-doping experts from King’s College London and supported by scientists from around the world.

LOCOG Chief Executive Paul Deighton said: "Working with one of the world’s best pharmaceutical companies and one of the country’s leading universities, we have been able to create a facility to successfully and efficiently process 6,250 tests during the Games which has never been done before.

"As we unveil the anti-doping lab we recognise the importance of a robust testing system and continue to show that London is ready to stage a successful Games."

Over 1,000 LOCOG staff will work within the anti-doping process and a team of more than 150 anti-doping scientists will carry out the testing at the laboratory, led independently by Professor David Cowan from the Drug Control Centre at King’s College London.

The laboratory will be in operation 24 hours a day, seven days a week during the Games, and was today visited by Hugh Robertson, Minister for Sport and the Olympics.

Sir Andrew Witty, CEO of GlaxoSmithKline, said: "As a science-based organisation, GSK is well placed to help deliver the scale and cutting edge technology required to run an operation like the anti-doping facility for London 2012.

"We have worked with King’s to put systems in place to enable this laboratory to test more samples than any previous Games and at the same time developing a blueprint for doping operations at future Games."

The Anti-Doping process during the London 2012 Games will create a legacy of knowledge about operations and processes.  In July 2011, GSK signed an agreement with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to share information about its medicines in development, while LOCOG will debrief on all processes.
Key Statistics:

  • Up to 6250 samples will be tested during Games time – more than any other Games
  • The Anti-Doping workforce at the Games will be over 1,000 people
  • Up to 1 in 2 athletes will be tested at the Olympic Games including every Olympic medallist
  • The laboratory will operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week during the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games
  • Up to 400 samples will be tested every day
  • The shortest test turnaround time will be 24hrs (some tests will take longer)
  • The laboratory is 4400 square metres in size  – the same size as 7 tennis courts
  • A team of more than 150 anti-doping scientists will carry out the testing during Games time, led by Professor David Cowan from the Drug Control Centre at King’s College London. 


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