South African Doping Control Laboratory (SADoCoL)

UFS strip research


The UFS is home to the South African Doping Control Laboratory (SADoCoL), an ISO17025 and World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)-accredited service laboratory.

SADoCoL is the only WADA-accredited laboratory on the African continent.

The laboratory has been in existence since the early 1980s and has already participated in the various national, international, and African-based competitions.

As part of the UFS, it is overall governed and ruled by the constitution of the UFS; it is a registered tertiary entity with the Department of Higher Education and is therefore deemed a legal entity on the basis of its governmental status. SADoCoL functions as an entrepreneurial unit within the UFS structure. This laboratory is a centre of national pride and a major asset to the university.

SADoCoL operates within a very stringent framework of analytical testing, for which both ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation from the South African National Accreditation System (SANAS) and continuous WADA accreditation are a prerequisite.

SADoCoL mainly performs analytical testing to determine the use and misuse of prohibited substances or prohibited methods by athletes in a wide range of sporting disciplines. The main activities of the laboratory therefore encompass the analysis of human biological samples (typically urine and blood samples) in the frame of the prohibited substances listed by WADA. The accreditation provides SADoCoL with a significant scope of analytical capabilities, among which major analytical techniques form the basis of the analysis and processes.

Samples are received from clients who are involved in doping control, e.g., national and regional anti-doping organisations, regional federations, international federations, etc. The local national anti-doping organisation, i.e., the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport (SAIDS), is one of the main doping control partners of SADoCoL.

Scope and service

SADoCoL is an ISO/IEC 17025-accredited laboratory. This accreditation warrants that the laboratory will be able to provide quality service delivery to its clients by ensuring that proper quality management and quality assurance processes are in place. Continuous technique expansion and upgrades are possible due to technique-focused accreditation being obtained and supported. This ensures that SADoCoL can continuously upgrade the list of prohibited substances it is able to analyse for, as it is supported by the systems in place.

The scope of accredited techniques at SADoCoL:

  1. LC-HRMS liquid chromatography coupled with high-resolution mass spectrometry
  2. LCMS/MS liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry
  3. GC-MS gas chromatography coupled with mass selected detection
  4. GCMS/MS-EI gas chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry with electron ionisation
  5. GCMS/MS-CI gas chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry with chemical ionisation
  6. IEF electrophoresis through iso-electro focusing
  7. SARPAGE modified sodium dodecyl sulphate (SDS) gel electrophoresis with immuno-detection by Western blotting and chemiluminescence
  8. IA immunological analysis
  9. Flow cytometry analysis of various blood components, such as haemoglobin, red blood cells, platelets, etc.
  10. GC-CIRMS gas chromatography coupled with carbon isotope ratio mass spectrometry

Visit page for more about SADoCoL here.

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Contact me

Hanno du Preez
Director: South African Doping Control Laboratory
T: +27 51 401 9511

Pharmacology Building, Second Floor, Bloemfontein Campus.

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