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29 Dec, 2018 17:20

Russian authorities & WADA ‘settle technical issues over Moscow lab access’ – Sports Ministry

Russian authorities & WADA ‘settle technical issues over Moscow lab access’ – Sports Ministry

The Russian authorities have reached agreement with World Anti-Doping Agency officials on the technical aspects of access to data in the Moscow laboratory at the center of the country’s doping scandal, according to reports.

WADA officials are seeking access to the data as part of the agreement which allowed the reinstatement of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) earlier this year, following a three-year suspension amid accusations of state-sponsored doping.

WADA officials arrived in Moscow earlier in December to access the data – which, based on the timeline, must be done by the end of the year – but returned home empty-handed after encountering problems as their equipment was not certified under Russian law.  

READ MORE: ‘We will find a solution’: Russian sports minister on WADA access to lab data

That prompted RUSADA chief Yuri Ganus to implore President Vladimir Putin himself to help with the issue.

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Russian Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov now says that the technical issues surrounding WADA access to the data have been resolved.

“The Ministry of Sports of the Russian Federation received a letter from the head of the World Anti-Doping Agency Craig Reedy following the second visit of WADA technical experts to Moscow,” Kolobkov said, according to TASS.

“The Ministry of Sports of Russia thanks WADA for prompt and constructive cooperation. It should be noted that we have a single vision of the resolution of the situation.

“The WADA letter details the options for organizing the process of copying data from the Moscow anti-doping laboratory with the names of specific equipment. In working mode, the technical details have been agreed with the Investigative Committee of Russia,” the minister added.

“We support the position of WADA: in our common interests and for the benefit of Russian athletes and all clean athletes, we must move forward and immediately resolve all remaining issues. We are currently discussing the date of the next visit,” he said.

WADA has not issued an update on the situation at the time of writing, and no date was given for a potential next visit. 

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Under the agreement, Russia must also provide access to athletes’ stored samples by the middle of 2019.

RUSADA chief Ganus has said that “the future of Russian sport” is at stake, should it not reach agreement with WADA over honoring the steps for reinstatement.