A team of experts will travel to Moscow on Wednesday, to retrieve technical data from its anti-doping laboratory, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) announced on Monday. A first mission went there on 17 December but left Moscow empty-handed, on the grounds that the technical equipment needed to extract the data was not “in accordance with Russian legislation“.
The information the team of experts hopes to retrieve, if not manipulated by Russia, could identify dozens of Russian athletes doped in recent years.
WADA had requested that the data be retrieved by 31 December. On 1 st January, WADA President, Craig Reedie, said he was “extremely disappointed“ by Russia’s non-compliance that time. But no emergency meeting was called.
Several major figures in the fight against doping, such as former WADA Director David Howman, and its current Vice President, Linda Helleland, have called for Russia’s suspension from the body.
In September, the CRC had already been criticized for agreeing to declare Rusada compliant again, although two critical conditions for its reinstatement were not fulfilled.
A declaration of non-compliance could have serious consequences for Russian sport, including the non-participation of its athletes in the next Olympic Games in Tokyo – even though the texts provide that athletes may compete under a neutral flag, as was the case for Russian athletes competing in last year’s winter games in Pyeongchang.