The World Anti-Doping Association (WADA) has revoked the accredidation of the Moscow Antidoping Center in Russia due to non-compliance with the International Standard for Laboratories, the organization announced on Friday.
The laboratory has been suspended since November 10th after being investigated by the WADA Independent Commission.
The revocation, which has been accepted by the Laboratory, will enter into force immediately and means that the Laboratory will continue to be prevented from carrying out the testing of doping control samples on behalf of WADA or any testing authority.
The Moscow Laboratory was used in testing samples from the 2015 FINA Aquatics World Championships that were hosted in Kazan, Russia, though the testing for those championships was collaborated upon by other WADA-accredited laboratories.
Among the most egregious accusations last year, as reported by Jared Anderson when the lab was suspended, were:
Ministry of Sport Instructing Lab To Manipulate Samples: workers in the labs wouldn’t give specific names, but said the Ministry of Sport had specifically told the lab to “manipulate particular samples”: lab personnel were quoted in the report saying “there is no need [to know the names] because the instructions are directly from the Ministry of Sport…”
Government Agents Working Undercover in the Doping Lab: personnel in the Moscow lab alleged that government actors were actually physically present in the lab during the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics: “[L]ast time in Sochi, we had some guys pretending to be engineers in the lab but actually they were from the federal security service, let’s call it the new KGB; FSB,” the report reads.
Concealment Of Positive Drug Tests: The report includes multiple cases in which athletes or lab personnel allege that positive doping tests were concealed in exchange for large sums of money. The report: “these investigative reports demonstrate strong corroborating evidence that the Moscow laboratory has been involved in a widespread cover-up of positive doping tests.”
Destruction of Samples Before WADA audit: After a German documentary made allegations of massive doping violations within Russia, WADA scheduled an audit of the Moscow testing lab. According to the report, WADA e-mailed the director of the lab, telling him to retain all samples the lab had on hand for the audit. But when WADA arrived for the audit, it discovered that the director had ordered the disposal of almost 1,500 samples in what he told WADA was “some clean up to prepare for WADA’s visit.”
The news on the laboratory’s license revocation is the latest in a long line of missteps for Russia related to anti-doping, including announcements that its best female tennis player Maria Sharapova and its best female swimmer Yulia Efimova both tested positive earlier this year for the recently-banned substance Meldonium.
To read a full roundup on recent doping news in Russia and China, click here.
Also on Friday, WADA announced a suspension of the lab in Lisbon, Portugal, which prohibits that laboratory from carrying out any WADA-related anti-doping activities as well.
A further decision regarding possible revocation of the Laboratory’s accreditation will be made by WADA’s Executive Committee.