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17 Dec, 2018 12:47

WADA experts start inspecting Moscow anti-doping laboratory

WADA experts start inspecting Moscow anti-doping laboratory

World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) representatives have started checking Moscow laboratory data, access to which was granted by the Russian authorities as part of a deal reached between the two sides.

The five-person WADA delegation, headed by independent expert Jose Antonio Pascual, is planning to conduct a three-day inspection in order to check the database and doping samples which have been stored in the laboratory since 2011.

READ MORE: ‘No evidence provided by Austria to show Russian biathletes guilty of doping’ – ambassador

By providing access to the Moscow lab, Russian officials fulfilled a final requirement stipulated by the world anti-doping watchdog which reinstated the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) in September ending a three-year doping saga which undermined Russia’s credibility on the international stage.

Access to the laboratory was a key factor in RUSADA’s restoration, with WADA emphasizing it would suspend the body again if the commitment was violated.

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Gaining full access to the laboratory and the data contained within it was the reason behind the 20 September decision (to reinstate RUSADA) and it is satisfying that we are another step closer to realizing that,” WADA Director General Olivier Niggli said in a statement on Friday.

The raw data is the missing piece of the puzzle that will complement the duplicate LIMS (Laboratory Information Management System) database that is already in WADA’s possession and help conclude WADA’s McLaren and Operation LIMS investigations.”

READ MORE: 'A sign we're making progress': WADA experts visit Moscow lab at center of doping claims

In November, three WADA officers visited Moscow to hold meetings with Russian authorities and discuss the next steps of their cooperation.