MOSCOW – A three-person team of experts from the World Anti-Doping Agency was in Moscow on Thursday awaiting authorization to enter Russia’s testing laboratory and extract doping analyses data from its computer systems, an agency spokesman said.
Russia’s government had said late Wednesday that an understanding had been reached over how to hand over and handle data linked to drug-test samples and analyses.
“They look forward to starting their work,” WADA spokesman James Fitzgerald said ahead of a potential three-day inspection.
The WADA officials were on their third mission to Moscow to look for data from the Moscow laboratory which could lead to charges against various Russian athletes who are thought to have cheated by doping in the past.
Russia had already missed a deadline to hand over the data by Dec. 31, meaning its anti-doping agency could face sanctions from WADA.
“There were some working disagreements which arose last time related to which storage devices (the data) will be transferred onto and how, and so on,” Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said Wednesday. “I would say these are not so many substantial matters as issues of logistics,” Peskov added.
“As far as we know via our sports authorities, there are intensive contacts underway and now understanding has been reached with the WADA representatives regarding how the work will continue,” he said.
The deadline established that RUSADA and Russian authorities had to hand over the data as a condition set by WADA’s Executive Committee to reinstate the Russian agency to the list of World Anti-Doping Code-compliant signatories.
RUSADA’s status was to be considered on Jan. 14-15 by the independent Compliance Review Committee (CRC), WADA had said.