Russian doping: Wada will gain access to Moscow laboratory data

Rusada's suspension was imposed in November 2015

The World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) says it is "another step closer" to gaining full access to the former Moscow anti-doping laboratory.

A team of five experts will travel to Russia on Monday to retrieve the data.

Wada lifted a three-year ban on Russia's anti-doping agency, Rusada, in September, which followed a major scandal over state-sponsored doping.

Access to the Moscow laboratory data and samples before the end of 2018 was a condition of Russia's reinstatement.

"The raw data is the missing piece of the puzzle," said Wada director-general Oliver Niggli.

"Gaining full access to the laboratory and the data contained within it was the reason behind the 20 September decision and it is satisfying that we are another step closer to realising it."

He added the data would "complement" the duplicate Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) database that Wada acquired last year and "help conclude" its investigations into alleged state-backed doping by Russia.

After the data has been reviewed, Russian authorities must retest any samples required by Wada before 30 June 2019.

Wada said the data would then be used alongside any re-analysed samples to "build cases against athletes who cheated".

However, it warned that it "will take some time" for the date to be "fully assessed and verified".

The decision to lift Rusada's suspension provoked an outcry and was described as "the greatest treachery against clean athletes".

Wada president Sir Craig Reedie defended the move and said the reinstatement was "subject to strict conditions".

How the scandal unfolded

  • December 2014: As many as 99% of Russian athletes are guilty of doping, a German TV documentary alleges.
  • November 2015: A Wada commission publishes an independent report alleging widespread corruption, amounting to state-sponsored doping in Russian track and field athletics. Rusada is declared non-compliant.
  • May 2016: Former Moscow anti-doping laboratory boss Grigory Rodchenkov, who has turned whistleblower, says dozens of Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi had cheated.
  • July 2016: Russia operated a state-sponsored doping programme for four years across the "vast majority" of summer and winter Olympic sports, says a report from Professor Richard McLaren.
  • August 2016: International Olympic Committee (IOC) decides against imposing a blanket ban on Russian athletes at the 2016 Olympics in Rio. Individual sporting federations rule instead, with 271 Russians competing.
  • December 2016: Wada publishes the second part of the McLaren report which says more than 1,000 Russian athletes benefited from doping.
  • January 2017: Rusada and Russian sport authorities given list of criteria to achieve before winning back recognition.
  • March 2017: Wada says Russia's anti-doping reforms are not happening quickly enough.
  • February 2018: Russia are banned from competing at 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea by the IOC, but 169 athletes who prove they are clean allowed to compete under a neutral flag.
  • May 2018: Wada writes to Rusada offering 'compromise' solution.
  • September 2018: News of the compromise, revealed by the BBC, prompts fury from athletes and doping bodies.