Russia OK’s return of WADA inspection team

ReutersMOSCOW (Reuters) — With the clock ticking toward new sanctions, Russian authorities said Monday they would allow a World Anti-Doping Agency inspection team to return to a Moscow laboratory to retrieve data it had earlier been denied.

Russian sports minister Pavel Kolobkov said WADA officials would return to Moscow on Wednesday. WADA also confirmed in a press release that a three-person team would be allowed entry to the tainted Moscow lab and data it was prevented from securing during a December visit.

Access to the lab and data before a Dec. 31 deadline was a condition of WADA’s September decision to reinstate the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA). However, extraction of data stored in the facility’s Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS), was not completed because of a technicality, leaving RUSADA again at risk of being found non-compliant.

Russian authorities had said that the inspection team’s equipment was not certified under Russian law.

The decision to allow the new inspection team access comes with WADA preparing to impose possible new sanctions on RUSADA.

RUSADA was suspended in 2015 after a WADA-commissioned report outlined evidence of state-backed, systematic doping in Russian athletics, allegations Moscow has denied.

A WADA Compliance Review Committee (CRC) is set to meet on Jan. 14-15 at the agency’s Montreal headquarters where members were expected to hear from the original five-member inspection team. The CRC will then submit a report to the WADA executive committee and could recommend RUSADA once again be ruled non-compliant and face new sanctions.Speech

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