(ATR) A World Anti-Doping Agency team will once again travel to Russia to attempt to retrieve data from the Moscow anti-doping lab, despite the Russian Anti-Doping Agency missing the Dec. 31 deadline set by WADA to transfer the data.
WADA President Craig Reedie (ATR)
WADA confirmed in a statement that the team will arrive in Moscow on Jan. 9. A five-person team sent by WADA in December was not allowed to access all the data, which resulted in Russia missing the end of the year deadline set by the Compliance Review Committee (CRC).
The CRC provisionally restored RUSADA’s compliance of the WADA code with the condition of allowing WADA access to the LIMS data from the Moscow Lab by the end of 2018. WADA came under fire for the decision, but President Craig Reedie defended the move saying in a statement Russia was subject to “strict conditions” related to its provisional reinstatement.
As it became increasingly clear Russia was going to miss the Dec. 31 deadline, the director general of RUSADA appealed to Vladimir Putin directly to solve the impasse.
WADA’s CRC will meet on Jan. 14 and 15 to determine Russia’s compliance. CRC head Jonathan Taylor defended the committee’s decision to meet in mid-January, rather than immediately declare Russia non-compliant after the deadline lapsed.
Taylor said that mid-January was the first time the entire committee could meet in person, and that WADA was bound by the International Standard for Code Compliance by Signatories to give Russia every opportunity to fulfill its compliance obligations. Critics of Taylor’s statement said that the meeting date essentially gave Russia an extra two weeks to meet its obligations.
“While WADA is obliged under the ISCCS to give every opportunity to RUSADA, we are continuing to act on the basis of the 31 December deadline having been missed, with all the consequences that failure could bring,” Reedie said in a statement about the new mission to Russia.
“This week’s mission to Moscow is not only about us following due process and precedent. If the mission is successful in acquiring the data, it will break a long impasse and will potentially lead to many cases being actioned. Regardless, in the short-term, the ExCo will be considering whether RUSADA should maintain Code-compliance status alongside anti-doping organizations of other major sporting nations that enjoy the same.”
The outcome of the new mission will be reviewed by the CRC, according to WADA. The CRC will then make a recommendation to WADA’s Executive Committee about RUSADA’s compliance, of which the ExCo will make a final decision.
Should RUSADA be declared non-compliant, it would have 21 days to lodge and appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Written by Aaron Bauer
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