MOSCOW, December 3. /TASS/. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) claims that reported manipulations with the database from the Moscow Anti-Doping Laboratory makes it impossible to probe 145 out of 298 Russian athletes for possible violations of anti-doping rules, according to a report from the WADA Compliance Review Committee (CRC) obtained by TASS on Tuesday.
WADA announced on September 23 that it had initiated a probe into the compliance status of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) with the Code of the world’s governing anti-doping body based on the inconsistencies discovered in the data from the Moscow Anti-Doping Laboratory. On November 25, WADA CRC reiterated its previous recommendation for the world anti-doping body’s Executive Committee to strip RUSADA of its compliance status and came up with a recommendation of additional sanctions against Russian sports.
Among the recommended sanctions, the CRC suggested to bar Russia from all international sports competitions, including the Olympic and Paralympic Games, for a four-year period. The Committee also issued a recommendation to deprive Russia of the right to host international sports events during this period. The WADA Executive Committee will pass a final decision on Russia at its meeting on December 9 in Paris.
“From the Target Group, the data of 116 athletes (199 samples) contain a material discrepancy between the Data Sources,” the report of WADA CRC reads. “Of the 182 athletes (379 samples) that do not have a discrepancy, Raw Data and PDFs are only available for 153 athletes (268 samples).”
“In other words, data alteration has also impacted the ability to investigate the cases of 29 athletes (111 samples) where there is no discrepancy between the Data Sources,” according to the report. “Quantification of the total impact is achieved by combining the LIMS discrepancy cases (116 athletes) with the absent Raw Data and PDF cases (29 athletes), for a combined total of 145 athletes (310 samples). In other words, an adverse impact of almost 50% of the Target Group.”
The information in the provided report confirms, that based on the data from the Moscow Anti-Doping Lab, 298 Russian athletes were suspected of anti-doping rules’ violations. Following the analysis of the initially provided data regarding 153 athletes, 47 investigation cases were opened and international sports federations were officially notified about these cases.
The report from the WADA Committee states that during the examination of the database, Russian experts deleted information, including about the banned substances discovered in doping samples of athletes.
The Russian side failed to meet the deadline, which was December 31, 2018, for providing access for WADA experts to the Moscow Lab’s data.
At the September meeting in Lausanne in September, the Russian delegation acknowledged the fact that some of the information disappeared as a result of the infiltration into the Lab’s system on December 17, 2018 and on January 8, 2019, however it argued against the interpretation of the events on behalf of WADA’s experts.
“During the expert meeting, Russian Experts did not provide evidence or further technical material which required the Independent Experts to revisit their reported findings,” the report stated.
The WADA Executive Committee reinstated the compliance status of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency on September 20, 2018 on condition that WADA experts would be granted access before December 31, 2018 to doping samples at the Moscow Anti-Doping Lab, which was sealed off in connection with a federal investigation.
Specialists from WADA were granted access to the database of the Moscow Anti-Doping Laboratory in January this year and copied 24 terabytes of information on Russian athletes’ doping samples collected between 2012 and 2015. WADA experts finished their work to retrieve doping samples from the Moscow Lab on April 30 having collected 2,262 doping samples in 4,524 containers (Samples A and B).
The new international standard on the compliance status states that athletes coming from countries where national anti-doping agencies are non-compliant with the WADA Code may be barred from all international tournaments, including the Olympic and Paralympic Games.