A five-person World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) expert team, led by independent expert Dr. José Antonio (Toni) Pascual, is returning from its mission to Russia to access data from the former Moscow Laboratory.
The team had arrived in Moscow on 17 December and was tasked with accessing the Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) and the underlying data from the former Moscow Laboratory as per the conditions of WADA’s 20 September Executive Committee (ExCo) decisionreinstated the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) to the list of World Anti-Doping Code-compliant Signatories.
The team accessed the laboratory and progress was made with the Russian authorities regarding extraction and export of the data outside Russia. However, the team was unable to complete its mission within the prescribed time due to an issue 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, after which WADA sent its expert team back to Moscow to retrieve the data.
In keeping with the process that was outlined by the WADA ExCo in September, Dr. Pascual will now prepare his formal report on the mission and, as planned, the report will be sent to the independent Compliance Review Committee (CRC). The CRC will meet on 14-15 January 2019 when RUSADA’s Code compliance status will again be considered and the CRC’s recommendation will then be considered by the ExCo.
In parallel, in light of the progress that has been made – and the importance of obtaining this data in order to implicate or exonerate athletes – WADA’s expert team stands ready to proceed with the full data extraction should the matter be resolved by Russia expeditiously.