World Anti-Doping Agency retrieves data from Russian lab

Leading athletes have opposed the lifting of Russia's suspension

A World Anti-Doping Agency team has retrieved data from the Russian Anti-Doping Agency's laboratory in Moscow after a week of work.

The visit was a condition of Rusada's reinstatement in September.

Wada said the data is "crucial to build strong cases against cheats and exonerate others suspected of having participated in widespread doping".

"This is a major breakthrough for clean sport," said Wada president Sir Craig Reedie.

Russia's failure to provide full access to the laboratory and data before the December deadline led to 16 national anti-doping bodies (Nados) and Wada's athlete committee to call for the country to be suspended from Wada. Wada eventually gained access on 10 January.

Next week Wada's executive committee will consider a recommendation from its compliance review panel on whether to suspend Russia for missing the original end of year deadline.

A report from Professor Richard McLaren in July 2016 found Russia operated a state-sponsored doping programme for four years across the "vast majority" of Olympic sports.

A subsequent report stated more than 1,000 Russian athletes benefited from doping. Russia was later banned from competing at the 2018 Winter Olympics.

Wada demanded Russia meet two criteria before Rusada could be reinstated to competition: accept the findings of the McLaren report, and grant access to Moscow's anti-doping laboratory.

"Wada now embarks on the second phase, which entails the authentication and review of the data to ensure it is complete and that it has not been compromised," Reedie said.

"Given the amount of data, that will take some time to achieve, but our experts have the tools they need to be able to verify the data with a high degree of confidence."

He said Wada would "build strong cases" against athletes found to have doped and will "ensure that certain samples that are still stored in the Moscow laboratory are re-analysed in an accredited laboratory no later than 30 June 2019".

How the Russian doping 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.
  • December 2018: Wada team is unable to access Moscow laboratory and data.
  • January 2019: Wada team gains access to Moscow laboratory and data.

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