‘There were only technical issues’: Kremlin says Russia & WADA reach agreement on lab data
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov says the Russian sports authorities and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) have reached agreement on accessing data from a Moscow laboratory.
The Russian official refuted suggestions that the Russian side had violated its obligations to the anti-doping watchdog by blocking access to the lab where doping samples and data have been stored since 2011.
WADA officials arrived in Moscow on Wednesday in an attempt to finally extract data from the lab, which was named as a condition in reinstating the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) in September after a three-year suspension.
"Basically, the Moscow laboratory data was ready for extraction during WADA’s previous visit,” Peskov said, TASS reported. “But some technical issues emerged regarding devices that should be used. I would say there were logistics issues, but not major discrepancies.”Also on rt.com 'Lynch mob': Former WADA president slams response to Russia's missed deadline
“Our sports bodies remain in contact with WADA representatives. They have reached understanding [on general issues] and continue working in close cooperation,” he added.
In December, WADA's five-person team led by independent expert Jose Antonio Pascual, returned home empty-handed after failing to extract the data as their equipment was not certified under Russian law.
The failure to retrieve the data sparkled a wave of criticism, with some international organizations accusing the body of being “played” by Russia after the end-of-year deadline to extract the information was missed.
Access to the laboratory was a key factor in restoring RUSADA to compliance status, with WADA having emphasizing it could suspend the body again if deadlines were not met.
WADA's Compliance Review Committee is due to meet on January 14 to discuss the situation surrounding RUSADA.