WADA make ‘major breakthrough’ by retrieving Moscow data

WADA president Craig Reedie

WADA are due to announce on January 22 whether the Russian Anti-Doping Agency will remain compliant.

Craig Reedie says a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) team of experts has made a “major breakthrough for clean sport” by retrieving data from a Moscow laboratory.

A trio of WADA inspectors returned for the mission last week after the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) missed a December 31 deadline to allow them to gain full access to data.

That was one of two conditions stipulated by WADA’s Executive Committee (ExCo) to RUSADA when the body was reinstated as compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code last September.

Information gained from the laboratory has been transported out of Russia and the independent Compliance Review Committee (CRC) has submitted a recommendation on Russia’s compliance status, which will be considered by ExCo on January 22.

WADA president Reedie said: “This is a major breakthrough for clean sport. It shows we are continuing to make real progress that simply would not have happened without the 20 September ExCo decision.

“The first phase of the three-phase process outlined by that decision is now complete. The long impasse around access to the former Moscow Laboratory has been broken and that is significantly good news.

“WADA now embarks on the second phase, which entails the authentication and review of the data to ensure it is complete and that it has not been compromised. Given the amount of data, that will take some time to achieve but our experts have the tools they need to be able to verify the data with a high degree of confidence.

“Once the data have been authenticated, we will be in a position to proceed to the third phase and support the various sports and other anti-doping organisations concerned to build strong cases against athletes who doped and, as part of that, ensure that certain samples that are still stored in the Moscow Laboratory are re-analysed in an accredited laboratory no later than 30 June 2019.”

WADA are scheduled to make an announcement on whether Russia will remain compliant next Tuesday.