The new anti-doping laboratory which will operate during the London 2012 Games has been unveiled today.
More than 6,250 samples are expected to be analysed throughout the Olympics and Paralympics this summer at the World Anti-Doping Agency-accredited lab in Harlow, Essex.
LOCOG (the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games), laboratory service providers GlaxoSmithKline and laboratory operators King’s College London welcomed Olympics Minister Hugh Robertson for a tour of the facility, which measures the size of seven tennis courts.
“We are doing all we can to ensure that there is no place to hide for drug cheats at London 2012,” Mr Robertson said. “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.”
A team of more than 150 scientists will carry out testing at the lab, which will be in operation 24 hours a day, seven days a week during the Games. The London 2012 anti-doping workforce will be made up of more than 1,000 people in total. Up to half of all athletes will be tested at the Olympics, including every medallist.
Paul Deighton, London 2012 Chief Executive, said:
“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.”
In October, UK Anti-Doping launched the Win Clean campaign to to alert athletes coming to the UK for the Games of their rights and responsibilities surrounding anti-doping.