A five-person WADA delegation will travel to Moscow on December 17 to access the city’s anti-doping laboratory and gain access to its raw data, the World Anti-Doping Agency said on Friday. Access to the lab and data before the end of the year was a condition of WADA’s September decision to reinstate Russia’s anti-doping agency (RUSADA). Russian authorities must also ensure that any re-analysis of samples required by WADA following review of the laboratory data is completed by no later than June 30 2019.
“Gaining full access to the laboratory and the data contained within it was the reason behind the 20 September decision (to reinstate RUSADA) and it is satisfying that we are another step closer to realizing that,” said WADA Director General Olivier Niggli in a statement.
“The raw data is the missing piece of the puzzle that will complement the duplicate LIMS (Laboratory Information Management System) database that is already in WADA’s possession and help conclude WADA’s McLaren and Operation LIMS investigations.”
WADA has set a December 31 deadline for RUSADA to meet the condition or once again be found non-compliant and face even tougher sanctions laid out in the International Standard for Code Compliance by Signatories.
RUSADA was suspended in 2015 after a WADA-commissioned report that outlined evidence of massive state-backed, systematic doping in Russian athletics, allegations which Moscow denied.
WADA readmitted RUSADA in September, angering sports bodies around the globe, but said a failure to allow access to the Moscow laboratory would lead to a renewed ban.
Earlier this month the Council of the International Association of Athletics Federations voted to continue its doping-related ban of the Russian Athletics Federation that has been in place since 2015.