(Reuters) - France's main anti-doping laboratory, already under a provisional ban, has been suspended from carrying out anti-doping activities for up to six months because of analytical issues, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) said on Friday.
The new suspension, which took effect on Oct 31, prohibits the Chatenay-Malabry laboratory from all analyses of urine and blood samples, WADA said in a statement.
During the suspension, samples that have not yet been analysed by the Paris laboratory, samples currently undergoing a confirmation procedure and any samples for which an adverse analytical finding has been reported must be securely transported to another WADA-accredited laboratory.
The laboratory was provisionally suspended on Sept 24 due to issues self-reported to WADA by the laboratory.
Since then disciplinary proceedings were carried out by an independent disciplinary committee, which made a recommendation on the status of the laboratory's accreditation to the WADA Executive Committee chair.
The laboratory, where disgraced American cyclist Lance Armstrong's samples were tested, may appeal this decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) within 21 days of receipt of notice.
If the laboratory addresses all non-conformities identified by the Laboratory Expert Group or WADA, it may apply for reinstatement prior to the expiry of the six month suspension period.
Should the laboratory not address the non-conformities by the end of the six-month suspension period, WADA may extend the suspension of the laboratory’s accreditation for an additional six months, WADA said.
(Reporting by Gene Cherry in Salvo, North Carolina, editing by Nick Mulvenney)