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Clean sport Swiss firm stops making anti-doping kits

glass bottles

Determined doping efforts make it hard to design the perfect bottle for test samples.

(Berlinger Special AG via AP Images)

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is looking for alternatives now that a Swiss company has ceased production of bottles to collect urine and blood samples. 

Based in St Gallen in eastern Switzerland, manufacturer Berlinger Special has been making doping control kits since the 1990s. This weekend it announced that it would stop producing the bottles in the medium term. 

In the run-up to the Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang this year, some problems were reported with the seals on the firm’s latest model of vials – sparking worries about samples being manipulated. There were also concerns about the how some of the newer bottles had broken when frozen.

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“Increasingly institutionalized forms of doping malpractice have steadily raised and changed the demands on these anti-doping kits over the years,” said Berlinger in a statementexternal link. “These developments are not only damaging to sport: they have become increasingly incompatible with our corporate values and core competencies.” 

In the meantime, the Swiss company will continue to provide an older model of its bottles for upcoming sporting events, just as it did for the Winter Games. 

In a statement, WADAexternal link said it “remains resolutely committed to following up with Berlinger and affected stakeholders as necessary until the matter is resolved”.


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