WADA President confident in Russian support
Von Nick Butler and Hajo Seppelt
World Anti-Doping Agency President Craig Reedie has bullishly predicted how Russia will soon open-up its laboratory in Moscow to an inspection panel. This would risk releasing information implicating dozens of cheating athletes. Nick Butler reports from Azerbaijan.
The under-fire Briton said following a meeting in Baku that he now finds it "inconceivable" that they will not receive full data by a December 31 deadline. If true, this would go some way towards justifying WADA’s controversial decision to reinstate the compliance of Russia’s Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) in September. This decision was made without Russia having met criteria to open up the Moscow Laboratory and accept responsibility for a state sponsored doping scandal. It was criticised by athletes across the world.
Reedie said that a two-person delegation have been invited to the Russian capital on November 28 by the Sports Minister. He hopes that a full panel - consisting of scientific and IT experts as well as several Russian observers - will visit within the following two weeks.
They would then extract the full "Raw Analytical Data" from the laboratory. This contains detailed information about all doping records. It would be compared with the less detailed Laboratory Information Management System already obtained. WADA claim this would provide enough information to prove, or disprove, dozens of outstanding cases across numerous sports.
Craig Reedie and his calculated gamble . Sportschau. 17.11.2018. 01:52 Min.. Verfügbar bis 17.11.2019. Das Erste.
Reedie said they “have an absolutely written guarantee that this will happen from the authorities in Russia and they have accepted the date of December 31”. He added: "I find it almost inconceivable to believe that we don't complete this project in time.”
Russian attempts to manipulate possible
WADA also insist that any attempt to provide incomplete or falsified data will be spotted because it will not match their LIMS records.
Other figures remain sceptical that Russian officials will really comply.
"Call me crazy but unless some magic fairy dust has suddenly been found – I can’t imagine anything suddenly changing," United States Anti-Doping Agency chief executive Travis Tygart told ARD.
"“For the sake of clean athletes, let’s hope he [Reedie is] not totally out of touch on this one too."
If Russia does still fail to produce acceptable data, then WADA’s compliance review committee will meet in January to decide whether to recommend non-compliance. Such a decision would block
Russia’s ability to be awarded sporting events. It would even threaten their participation at the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Unabhängige Inspektoren sollen bis 31. Dezember dieses Jahres Zugang zu allen Daten des Moskauer Dopingkontrolllabors erhalten
Any non-compliance decision would still be subject to the political whims of the WADA Executive Committee. Fifty per cent of this body represent the sports movement and are likely to resist any threat of Putin’s regime not being present in the Japanese capital. Russia has already been awarded several sporting events since the ban was lifted, including the 2022 World Championships in men’s volleyball.
WADA criticised by athletes over Russia
"I welcome the assurance from President Reedie when he gives up a 100 per cent guarantee that we will gain access to the data and samples stored at the Moscow Laboratory," added WADA vice-president Linda Helleland," a frequent critic of Reedie who opposed Russian reinstatement, to ARD.
The Norwegian official added that the "whole anti-doping community will welcome this guarantee" and "look forward to the verification of the authenticity of what is provided by the Russian officials by December 31".
Stand: 17.11.2018, 14:14