LOCOG Showcases Anti-Doping Lab

January 20, 2012

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

More samples will be taken at this year’s Olympics than at any other Games, case with up to 400 samples requested each day, sick and over 6,250 samples analysed in total.

Throughout the Olympic and Paralympic Games, the laboratory will be in operation 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) approved facility has been provided by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and will be operated by anti-doping experts from King’s College London as well as being supported by scientists from across the globe.

Professor David Cowan from the Drug Control Centre at King’s College London will lead a team of 150 anti-doping scientists who will carry out the testing.  Over 1,000 LOCOG staff will also work within the Anti-Doping process

Cowan emphasised the unprecedented quality of the laboratory in its ability to detect banned substances.

“These laboratories are the most high-tech labs in the history of the Games, analysing more samples than ever before. We have developed, with GSK support, super-fast and super-sensitive technologies to be able to detect use of prohibited substances. Our role is to ensure the efficient and effective operation of the lab to deliver robust anti-doping testing for the Games”.

Hugh Robertson, Minister for Sport and the Olympics, was given a tour of the facility based in Harlow, Essex yesterday and stated that he hoped the laboratory would act as a powerful deterrent to potential drug cheats.

“We are doing all we can to ensure that there is no place to hide for drug cheats at London 2012. Our message to any athlete thinking about doping is simple – we’ll catch you. This lab, from GlaxoSmithKline and King’s College London, is at the forefront of the fight against doping. It will be populated with scientists at the top of their field during the Games who will carry out an exhaustive testing process”.

London 2012 chief executive, Paul Deighton, added, “Today is an important milestone in the countdown to the Games. 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”.