U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA)

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How are the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) laboratories accredited? Are they required to follow common procedures?

As a signatory to the WADA Code, USADA sends all samples to independent laboratories that are recognized as accredited and monitored by WADA. There is currently a global network of 32 WADA accredited laboratories, including two in the United States: The Sports Medicine Research Testing Laboratory (SMRTL) in Utah and the UCLA Olympic Analytical Laboratory in California. WADA accredited laboratories are held to the highest standards in order to ensure the integrity and consistency of all sample analysis around the world.

Laboratories are WADA accredited based upon compliance with the two international standards: ISO/IEC 17025, the main international operating standard used by testing and calibration laboratories, and the WADA International Standard for Laboratories (ISL). WADA has established close ties with both international and national standard-setting bodies, including the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) to facilitate the process of assessing laboratories for compliance with both standards. All WADA accredited laboratories are required to follow common standards as stated in the ISL and its related technical documents. In addition, all WADA accredited labs are required to achieve Minimum Required Performance Levels (MRPL) for detection and identification of prohibited substances, their markers, or metabolites. From the athlete perspective, these common standards help to ensure confidence, consistency, and confidentiality in the doping control process.

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