KUALA LUMPUR – The Youth and Sports Ministry will set up a new anti-doping laboratory in Bukit Jalil within the next two years, Minister Khairy Jamaluddin announced.
However, he said the lab would need the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) accreditation and approval before it can be fully operational.
“The accreditation process may take up to three years to complete.
“We have to make sure we set up the lab, WADA is satisfied and then we will get the accreditation. We have an allocation for lab maintenance. Right now, if we want to carry out a doping test, we have to spend about US$200 per sample. Later, it will cost only RM200.”
Khairy said this after opening the National Summit on Anti-Doping, which is the first in its series, organised by the National Sports Institute (ISN) here today.
Khairy said the ministry not only wanted a laboratory that could conduct doping test on national athletes, but also had the capability to accept and conduct the doping test on samples from all around the world.
He said starting this year, WADA had also adopted a new rule under the World Anti-Doping Code, which stated that athletes convicted of doping would face a minimum four-year ban instead of two years previously.
In another development, Khairy also announced that the Anti-Doping Agency of Malaysia (ADAMAS) was expected to become an independent body by end of this year.
“ADAMAS will no longer be under the patronage of ISN, especially in terms of administration. It will become an anti-doping monitoring and enforcement agency. ISN, as a body that provides treatment for injured athletes, cannot have any involvement whatsoever in ADAMAS,” he said.
Meanwhile, ADAMAS chief Nishel Kumar said once the agency became an independent body, the investigation process and doping test could be done in more transparent and quicker manners.
“The new code adopted by the WADA also stated that action can also be taken against anyone, including association members, involved in the doping issue.
ADAMAS can also take action against ISN officers if they were found to be involved,” he said.
Nishel said the cost to prepare the equipment for the new lab would amount to RM18 million.
For the record, Malaysia had once set up an anti-doping agency at Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) in Penang in 1998, but the operation was ceased in 2010 after it was found to have not met the accreditation standards set by WADA. – BERNAMA