Representatives of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) held meetings with the Russian authorities in Moscow yesterday and today, regarding Moscow Laboratory access, which the Agency expects will pave the way for a full technical mission mid-December.
The three-person delegation, which met with officials in Moscow and visited the Laboratory, will now liaise further with WADA leadership in order to discuss logistics and next steps. A full technical mission has been provisionally planned but this is subject to a number of outstanding points that need to be clarified in the coming days.
With the technical mission, WADA will seek to gain full access to the former Moscow Laboratory, the Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) and the underlying data of the Laboratory, as required by WADA’s Executive Committee (ExCo) decision of 20 September, to be fulfilled by 31 December 2018.
WADA Senior Director Science and International Partnerships Dr. Olivier Rabin, who led the delegation, said: “We had open and productive meetings with the Russian public authorities, including with Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov, and we are preparing for the full technical team to gain access to the Moscow Laboratory and the data before the end of 2018 in line with the strict conditions that WADA’s Executive Committee set for RUSADA’s reinstatement. Progress is being made but some points still need to be ironed out before we can proceed with the technical visit.
“For WADA, the sooner we can gain full access to the Laboratory, the better. Clearly, there is a huge volume of data contained within it and we want to start analyzing it as soon as possible. Then, once the data has been fully assessed and verified to be authentic, we would be in a position to assert anti-doping rule violations against those athletes who cheated and to exonerate other athletes. The raw data is the missing piece of the puzzle that will complement the duplicate LIMS database that is already in WADA’s possession and help conclude WADA’s McLaren and Operation LIMS investigations.”
The Moscow Laboratory’s accreditation was suspended in November 2015 following a key recommendation in WADA’s Pound Commission Report. Its accreditation was revoked in April 2016 and it was subsequently sealed off by Russian law enforcement authorities due to a federal investigation.
Under the terms of the 20 September ExCo decision to reinstate RUSADA as compliant, failure to secure access to the authentic data will result in non-compliance once again, this time under the stronger terms of the International Standard for Code Compliance by Signatories that took effect on 1 April 2018.