“Finally, everything indicates that in the first quarter of 2020 we will have our laboratory accredited again,” João Paulo Rebelo, the secretary of state for youth and sport, said on the sidelines of the signing of a protocol between the Portuguese Anti-Doping Authority (ADoP) and the Portuguese Olympic Committee (COP).

The minister acknowledged that it took some time to reverse the disinvestment over recent years in the Lisbon laboratory, which lost the AMA accreditation on 25 October 2018, due to lack of compliance with international procedures.

“The country went through a difficult time, which was those years of financial constraints (...) and the laboratory was subject to successive disinvestment, both in its human resources, technical resources and even equipment,” he said.

The Lisbon LAD was suspended on 15 April 2016 for six months, and this suspension was later extended to one year, after which WADA decided to initiate procedures to revoke the accreditation, after verifying that the irregularities detected remained.

With the suspension, the laboratory was prevented from carrying out the analysis of the samples by federations and sports organisations that have signed the world anti-doping code.