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WADA reinstates Rio Olympic drug-testing laboratory

Brazil Faces New Health Epidemic As Mosquito-Borne Zika Virus Spreads Rapidly

RECIFE, BRAZIL - JANUARY 26: Aedes aegypti and other mosquitos are contained in a lab at the Fiocruz institute on January 26, 2016 in Recife, Pernambuco state, Brazil. The Aedes aegypti mosquito transmits the Zika virus and is being studied at the institute. In the last four months, authorities have recorded close to 4,000 cases in Brazil in which the mosquito-borne Zika virus may have led to microcephaly in infants. The ailment results in an abnormally small head in newborns and is associated with various disorders including decreased brain development. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the Zika virus outbreak is likely to spread throughout nearly all the Americas. At least twelve cases in the United States have now been confirmed by the CDC. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

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RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) -- The World Anti-Doping Agency said Wednesday it has reinstated the laboratory that will carry out drug testing for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, which start in just over two weeks.

The lab was shuttered last month for what WADA called “nonconformity with International Standard for Laboratories.”

In a statement on Wednesday, WADA said the Rio laboratory “has successfully complied with the ISL’s requirements for reinstatement and no further suspension is required.”

The statement will be a relief for local organizers and the International Olympic Committee, which would have been forced to send thousands of samples abroad for testing.

The Rio Olympics have faced myriad problems: the Zika epidemic, soaring crime and security worries, slow ticket sales and severe water pollution in venues for sailing, rowing, canoeing, triathlon and distance swimming.

“Athletes can be confident that anti-doping sample analysis has been robust throughout the laboratory’s suspension, and that it will also be during the Games,” Olivier Niggli, director general of WADA, said in a statement.

He said the lab would be running “optimally” when the Olympics open on Aug. 5.

A statement from the Brazilian sports ministry, which oversees the Brazilian Doping Control Authority, said it received the news “with satisfaction” and said the laboratory was already up and running.

The statement said Brazilian officials had followed “closely WADA’s review process the last few weeks.”

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