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WADA Forming Expert Group to Work at Moscow Laboratory, Report Claims

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A sign is on display outside the office of Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) in Moscow, Russia September 20, 2018. Photo: REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

By Liam Morgan |

An expert panel which will have the authority to work in the Moscow Laboratory is being set up by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to assist with obtaining samples from the facility, it has been reported.

Citing an unnamed source with WADA, Russia’s official state news agency TASS claims the group will comprise representatives from the global anti-doping watchdog and Russian officials.

The expert commission will be given permission to carry out its work at the laboratory in the Russian capital, which has been sealed off as part of an ongoing federal investigation.

Russian authorities have been told they must provide WADA access to the authentic laboratory information management system (LIMS) data and underlying analytical data at the Moscow Laboratory by no later than December 31 if the country is to remain compliant.

It follows the controversial decision to lift the ban on the Russian Anti-Doping Agency by the WADA Executive Committee last month, which has been widely criticized and has sparked a revolt among athlete groups.

Failure from Russia to hand over the data and samples at the laboratory could see WADA reimpose the suspension, while the organisation will also have greater sanctioning power under stricter conditions which came into effect earlier this year.

WADA has repeatedly claimed that the condition imposed on Russia puts them in a better position than before but athletes and others, including their own vice-president Linda Helleland, have said the decision to reinstate the country damages the organisation’s credibility.

It is thought the information stored at the laboratory will help International Federations build cases against Russian athletes involved in the country’s widespread doping scheme while exonerating those found not to have committed an anti-doping rule violation.

The issue is expected to be discussed at length when WADA holds its latest Foundation Board meeting in Baku on November 15.

A WADA spokesperson declined to comment when contacted by insidethegames.

Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz

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