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Doping

Russia’s anti-doping agency on the verge of a new suspension

Russia’s anti-doping agency on the verge of a new suspension

Denis Balibouse

REUTERS

The World Anti Doping Agency was denied full access to a Moscow anti-doping laboratory.

Russia’s Anti-Doping Agency (Rusada) is again on the verge of suspension, after a team of World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) inspectors visiting Moscow was denied access to raw data.

In September, Wada lifted a three-year ban on Rusada which followed a major scandal of state-sponsored doping.

Full access to the Moscow anti-doping laboratory data and samples before the end of 2018 was a condition for Russia’s reinstatement.

However, the five-member Wada team returned home frustrated after spending a week in Moscow without retrieving any of the data in the Laboratory Information Management System it had been promised access to.

'The team was unable to complete its mission,' Wada said.

'An issue was raised by the Russian authorities that the team's equipment to be used for the data extraction was required to be certified under Russian law.

'This issue had not been raised during an initial meeting on 28 November in Moscow, after which Wada sent its expert team back to Moscow to retrieve the data.'

If Rusada is found to be non-compliant, Russian athletes could again be banned from participating in the Olympics.

Russia’s excuse

Russian authorities said on Friday that Wada’s team was not certified under Russian law.

Now, the inspection team will prepare a formal report which will be sent to the Independent Compliance Review Committee (CRC), which will meet on January 14-15 when Rusada’s code compliance status will be again considered.

After that, CRC’s recommendation will be reviewed by the Wada executive committee.