WADA has announced the self-suspension of an anti-doping laboratory in Helsinki ©WADA

The doping control laboratory in Helsinki in Finland has self-suspended itself amid plans to relocate, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has announced.

In a statement WADA said the laboratory had asked to suspend its anti-doping activities whilst it finalises a plan to move to a new facility, under a new host organisation.

"Accordingly, WADA has agreed to suspend the Helsinki Laboratory's accreditation, effective 15 February 2019, and, during the period of suspension, the Laboratory will not be able to carry out any analyses of urine and/or blood samples for anti-doping purposes," WADA said.

They added that the suspension is not related to either an analytical or compliance issue and that the Laboratory can apply for reinstatement once their move is completed.

In total 27 Laboratories worldwide are currently fully accredited by WADA.

Finland's anti-doping laboratory is relocating ©Getty Images
Finland's anti-doping laboratory is relocating ©Getty Images

Three other labs, not including the Helsinki Laboratory, are currently either fully or partially suspended.

They are the Bucharest Laboratory in Romania, which has been suspended since 2017 due to "nonconformities with the International Standard for Laboratories" and the Stockholm Laboratory in Sweden.

That lab has been partially suspended since August 2018, meaning it cannot carry out a specific test which can detect the presence of steroids.

In May 2018 the now infamous Moscow Laboratory, embroiled in the Russian doping scandal, was partially reaccredited by WADA, enabling it to resume analysis of blood samples.