A full technical mission from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) will be in Russia next week to retrieve data from the former Moscow Laboratory.
The five-person delegation will travel to Moscow on Monday 17 December to access the Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) and the underlying raw data of the Laboratory, as required by WADA’s Executive Committee decision of 20 September. The team will be led by independent expert Dr. José Antonio (Toni) Pascual, who is a research scientist and academic in Barcelona, Spain with 30 years’ experience in anti-doping, including 25 years in laboratory management. It is expected the data extraction will take three days to complete.
WADA Director General Olivier Niggli said: “Following an initial meeting last month between WADA and the Russian public authorities, we have been preparing for the full technical mission to gain access to the Moscow Laboratory and the relevant data, in line with the strict conditions set for RUSADA’s reinstatement.
“Gaining full access to the laboratory and the data contained within it was the reason behind the 20 September decision and it is satisfying that we are another step closer to realizing that. 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.”
Under the terms of the 20 September decision to reinstate RUSADA as compliant, the Russian authorities must also procure that any re-analysis of samples required by WADA following review of the laboratory data is completed by no later than 30 June 2019.
The data contained within the laboratory will need to be fully assessed and verified, which will take some time. They will then be used, in conjunction with the re-analysis of samples as required, to build cases against athletes who cheated.
Earlier this week, a WADA team completed a two-day audit of RUSADA, in accordance with the strict conditions of its reinstatement. Based on its findings, the audit team will prepare a full report highlighting any outstanding issues that need to be addressed.