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WADA Begins Audit of Russian Anti-Doping Agency as Key Deadline Looms

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A woman walks into the head office for the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in Montreal, Quebec, Canada on November 9, 2015. Photo: REUTERS/Christinne Muschi/File Photo

By Liam Morgan |

Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) director general Margarita Pakhnotskaya has promised the body will immediately take any observations from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) on board as officials from the global watchdog started an audit of the organisation in Moscow today.

The two-day audit, due to conclude tomorrow, was one of the reinstatement conditions outlined by the WADA Executive Committee when the suspension on RUSADA was controversially lifted in September.

It is being conducted to ensure the body “continues to meet compliance standards.”

“The WADA auditors’ visit is being carried out in full conformity with RUSADA’s roadmap; they already started working,” Pakhnotskaya told Russia’s official state news agency TASS. 

“In four months following the reinstatement WADA should carry out a full examination of the activity of all our divisions.

“There will be no evaluations immediately after its end; the auditors will make a report based on what they saw.

“The audit will be held in two days, as was planned before; and the auditors can point to drawbacks in our work, if there are any.

“We will take all observations into consideration immediately.”

The audit comes amid continued uncertainty as to whether Russian authorities will meet the December 31 deadline to grant WADA access to data and samples stored at the sealed-off Moscow Laboratory.

A preliminary meeting to discuss access to the facility in the Russian capital was held late last month but WADA admitted a number of “outstanding issues” remained before they could send a full technical mission to obtain the data.

A WADA spokesperson told insidethegames a date for the crucial second visit had not yet been confirmed but “clearly it must take place by the end of the year.”

RUSADA director general Yury Ganus has claimed this will happen by December 22.

WADA has repeatedly warned that RUSADA will be declared non-compliant once again, under tougher sanctions, if they are not granted access to the Laboratory by the end of rhis month.

Critics fear that even if access is granted, any damning data that was once held inside may have been either destroyed or tampered with by the Russian authorities.

WADA director of intelligence and investigations Günter Younger admitted that was a concern and claimed evaluating the legitimacy of the raw data was the department’s biggest challenge when they are granted access to it. 

Younger claimed, however, that he was confident it would match the Moscow Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) database.

Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz

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