The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) refers to its media release of 21 December 2018, which announced that a five-person WADA expert team, led by independent expert Dr. José Antonio (Toni) Pascual, had returned from its mission to Russia without having accessed the Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) and the underlying data from the former Moscow Laboratory.
Today (1 January 2019), WADA confirms that since the Agency issued that release, no further missions to Russia have been carried out. Accordingly, the 31 December 2018 deadline – by which time the Russian authorities had to provide access to the data – has elapsed without the data having been retrieved. The deadline was one of two conditions stipulated in WADA’s 20 September Executive Committee (ExCo) decision regarding the Russian Anti-Doping Agency’s (RUSADA’s) compliance with the World Anti-Doping Code (Code).
WADA President Sir Craig Reedie said: “I am bitterly disappointed that data extraction from the former Moscow Laboratory has not been completed by the date agreed by WADA’s ExCo in September 2018. Since then, WADA has been working diligently with the Russian authorities to meet the deadline, which was clearly in the best interest of clean sport. The process agreed by WADA’s ExCo in September will now be initiated.”
In keeping with the process that was outlined by the ExCo in September 2018:
- This week, Dr. Pascual’s formal mission report, along with all other relevant information and documentation, will be sent to the independent Compliance Review Committee (CRC) for consideration;
- On 14-15 January 2019, the CRC will meet and review all available elements. The CRC will provide a recommendation to the WADA Executive Committee based on the applicable rules, namely the International Standard for Code Compliance by Signatories (ISCCS), which entered into force on 1 April 2018, and the Code; and
- As soon as practicable thereafter, the CRC’s recommendation will be considered by the ExCo.
Under the ISCCS, if the CRC recommends non-compliance, and the ExCo agrees with it, RUSADA will have the right to challenge that assertion to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), who will hear the case and take the final decision.
WADA has now written to Russia’s Minister of Sport, Pavel Kolobkov, and the Director General of RUSADA, Yury Ganus, to officially notify them of the situation and to remind them of the next steps in the process.
Given the importance for clean sport of access to, and subsequent authentication and analysis of, the data from the former Moscow Laboratory in order to build strong cases against cheats and exonerate other athletes, WADA experts continue to be ready to proceed with extraction of the data should the issue reported upon on 21 December be resolved by the Russian authorities. WADA will update the CRC of any progress in this regard at the CRC 14-15 January 2019 meeting.
WADA also continues its work with RUSADA, including through the presence of a WADA-commissioned Independent International Expert at RUSADA’s headquarters, to ensure that proper anti-doping activities, in particular testing, are being carried out in Russia.