Laboratory That Tested Taurasi Has Questionable History
Lab previously suspended by World Anti-Doping Agency.
by Ben York / @bjyork
WNBA standout and former UConn star Diana Taurasi tested positive for a mild stimulant while playing in a pro league in Turkey, her lawyer told The Associated Press on Thursday night.
However, research has uncovered a tarnished history for the laboratory responsible for Taurasi’s testing including a recent suspension from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
In 2009, WADA suspended the accredited laboratories in Ankara, Turkey (the one responsible for testing Taurasi) and Penang, Malaysia from carrying out anti-doping analysis for two and three months. During the period of suspension, the aforementioned laboratories (which are part of the 34 WADA-accredited laboratories worldwide) were not permitted to analyze doping samples.
As stated on their website, WADA is responsible for accrediting and re-accrediting anti-doping laboratories, as well as ensuring that they maintain the highest quality standards. Whenever a laboratory does not meet these quality requirements WADA can suspend the laboratory’s accreditation.
While it is unclear if foul-play is suspected in the accusations against Taurasi, it is worth noting that she has won the last four Euroleague Titles, is considered the world’s most dominant player, and currently leads the Euroleague in scoring. WADA does have extremely strict confidentiality rules in place that prohibit any employee from disclosing personal testing results without notifying the athlete first in accordance with other mandatory procedures. According to the guidelines, results and names cannot be released without a conclusive testing of the “B” sample.
To date, Taurasi’s “B” sample has not been tested.
Taurasi has been tested more than 30 times in 10 years by the NCAA, WNBA, USADA and WADA and has never failed a test or been suspended of using performance enhancing substances.
Taurasi’s lawyer, Howard Jacobs, has released the following statement:
“Diana Taurasi has been advised that she has tested positive for a mild stimulant. She wishes to stress that this notification does not involve steroids or recreational drugs of any kind.
In the 10 years of competition at the collegiate, professional and Olympic level, Diana Taurasi has never taken, been suspected of using, or tested positive for any performance enhancing substance. While she is fully cooperating with authorities, there are serious doubts about the accuracy of the test results. She has requested that the “B” sample be tested, and is investigating all possible causes. We are confident that Diana will be fully vindicated once all the evidence is reviewed. She regrets that someone has violated the confidentiality rules of this process, and will make no further statement at this time.”
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