Skip to main content

Rio 2016: WADA chief warns Brazil over Olympic construction delays

By Alex Thomas and Matt Knight, CNN
updated 11:57 AM EDT, Wed April 23, 2014
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • President of World Anti-Doping Agency raises concerns over Rio 2016 testing
  • Rio lab lost WADA accreditation last August for being inefficient says Craig Reedie
  • Reedie calls on Brazil's government to provide proper funding for drug-testing facility
  • Brazil 2016 organizers pumping in extra $10.8 billion for infrastructure projects

Follow us at @WorldSportCNN and like us on Facebook

(CNN) -- Conducting effective drug testing on site at the 2016 Olympic Games will be hard to implement if construction delays in Rio de Janeiro continue, the head of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has warned.

Craig Reedie, who replaced John Fahey as WADA president in January, told CNN that repeating the stringency and efficiency of the London 2012 Games will be a real challenge.

"It's going to be difficult to replicate in Rio the system that was put in place with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and UK Anti-Doping," Reedie told CNN World Sport.

"(The facility and systems) worked beautifully and that's because the national anti-doping organization was very, very good. In Rio, we couldn't say that at the moment ... they don't have a laboratory. Their laboratory lost its accreditation because clearly it was inefficient."

Brazil sells Rio airport for $8.3 billion
Will Rio be ready for World Cup?

WADA suspended testing at the Brazilian city's LADETEC laboratory last August after it failed to meet the organization's International Standard for Laboratories (ISL).

The implications of that suspension have already been felt by football's world governing body FIFA which, as a result, will be transporting players' blood and urine samples to Lausanne in Switzerland during the World Cup which starts in Sao Paulo on June 12.

Construction blunders and delays have blighted the buildup to football's showpiece, while concerns over Rio's Olympic facilities are mounting by the day -- a two-week strike over pay and conditions by more than 2,000 Olympic Park workers ended Thursday.

Ongoing concerns have prompted the IOC to agree to increase the frequency of visits -- led by IOC Olympic Games executive director Gilbert Felli -- and establish dedicated task forces.

Rio organizers announced Wednesday that Brazil will spend 24.1 billion reais ($10.8 billion) on infrastructure projects to ensure the Games are delivered on time.

This is a government problem. It's up to them to develop and fund their National Anti-Doping Organization and their laboratory ..."
WADA chief, Craig Reedie

Earlier in the week, Rio's mayor Eduardo Paes said he looked forward to Felli's visit saying that there was "no reason for concern" and that the "Olympic Park has nothing delayed."

Reedie did not write off the city's prospects of delivering first class drug-testing facilities on time, pointing to the fact that the suspended organization is currently being re-established and a new building is nearing completion.

But more needs to be done, he said.

"Too often they think of the building being the important thing. Well that's only one thing," said the former chairman of the British Olympic Association.

"You actually need to put the proper equipment in it and then above all you need to put the proper people in it. And you then have to work up the proper standards so you can get it accredited again."

LADETEC has yet to respond to CNN's request for comment.

Reedie isn't pushing the panic button just yet, but called on Brazil's lawmakers to take responsibility.

"This isn't really an organizing committee problem. This is a government problem," he said.

"It's up to them to develop and fund their national anti-doping organization and their laboratory. If they do that, yes it can be done.

"If they don't and it slips, it's a problem."

Read more: FIFA's long haul anti-doping plan

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 12:37 PM EDT, Wed May 7, 2014
Photography can really pack a punch. Catch up with all the best shots from around the world with our weekly sports gallery.
updated 8:00 AM EDT, Wed May 7, 2014
Of course not. But former Fulham owner Mohamed Al Fayed seems to think the removal of Michael Jackson's statue was a very "bad" idea.
updated 12:36 PM EDT, Wed May 7, 2014
Second-tier French side Clermont Foot appoint Helena Costa -- the country's first ever professional female coach of a male team.
updated 11:13 AM EDT, Mon April 28, 2014
San Francisco 49ers owner and co-chairman John York speaks to CNN about Michael Sam and the upcoming NFL Draft.
updated 1:33 PM EDT, Fri April 25, 2014
The All Blacks and their fans are focused on one thing, says Dan Carter: becoming the first rugby nation to win back-to-back World Cups.
updated 9:08 AM EDT, Fri April 4, 2014
The 2002 bomb attacks in Bali had many victims -- including a touring rugby team from Hong Kong.
Photographer Danny Lyon spent three days with Muhammad Ali in 1972 and shares his best photos and memories of the champ.
updated 7:54 AM EST, Tue February 25, 2014
With a growing audience boosted by the drama of ice hockey on show in Sochi at the Winter Olympics, can the sport capitalize on its popularity?
updated 6:25 AM EST, Mon January 20, 2014
Her paintings may sell for thousands of dollars, but she is best known for a modeling shot 50 years ago that helped launch a business empire.
updated 12:01 PM EST, Thu January 9, 2014
When the eye of the storm closes in most people head home -- but for these surfers it's a different story.
updated 9:45 AM EST, Mon January 6, 2014
Gareth Evans is a school teacher in South Africa. In 1983, he attended a "rebel tour" cricket match against the West Indies.
updated 10:07 AM EST, Tue December 17, 2013
In the wake of protests in his native Ukraine, heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko has turned his back on boxing to focus on his political ambitions.
updated 5:20 AM EDT, Fri August 9, 2013
Former pole vaulter Sergei Bubka is running to be president of the International Olympic Committee.
The Olympics must use its global reach and immense popularity to help save a generation, says sporting icon Sergei Bubka.
updated 12:32 PM EDT, Wed August 7, 2013
CNN's Fred Pleitgen exposes a history of German government-funded doping throughout the Cold War.
updated 12:28 PM EDT, Tue April 9, 2013
A competitor crosses the erg Znaigui during the second stage of the 26rd edition of the 'Marathon des Sables', on April 4, 2011, some 300 Kilometers, South of Ouarzazate in Morocco. The marathon is considered one of the hardest in the world, with 900 participants having to walk 250 kms (150 miles) for seven days in the Moroccan Sahara.
A six-day run that covers more than 220 km through the scorching heat of the Sahara desert has been billed as the "World's toughest race."
updated 7:49 AM EDT, Wed April 10, 2013
He plays the only sport approved by the Taliban, a game he learned as a war refugee in Pakistan.
ADVERTISEMENT