The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) says that it has successfully retrieved samples from the Moscow Laboratory, achieving the WADA Intelligence and Investigations “mission” to extract all relevant samples contained within the laboratory.
This is the next step in WADA’s investigation of allegations that Russia covered-up athletes’ doping for years via the Moscow lab. WADA also says that they are nearing completion of their review of the data that they were finally able to retrieve from the laboratory at the end of January after Russia missed a previous deadline to submit the data.
This time, the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) was well ahead of the deadline: they had until June 30th, 2019 to make any samples required for re-analysis available to WADA. The samples had been stored and sealed off as “part of a federal investigation being carried out by Russian authorities.”
“WADA can confirm that a five-person team has successfully retrieved 2,262 samples from the laboratory, which had been split into A and B samples and contained within 4,524 collection bottles. The samples have now been taken out of Moscow and are on their way to a WADA-accredited laboratory outside of Russia. Importantly, all samples targeted by I&I in advance of the mission were successfully located and extracted.”
“In removing the bottles, as a precaution we decided to take any and all samples that corresponded to data in the Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) database that was even remotely anomalous, even where an anti-doping rule violation (ADRV) was not suspected. We can therefore proceed to the next phase and support the various International Federations (IFs) and other Anti-Doping Organizations to bring cases forward.”
As part of the process, the I&I investigators will have the power to order further sample analysis of any samples that they believe to warrant it.
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“Meanwhile, the process continues as I&I investigators identify all available evidence for each case, including ordering further sample analysis, where appropriate. In due course, the relevant IFs will be presented with evidentiary packages, which they will assess with the view to taking the cases forward as ADRVs. In cases where IFs choose not to take action, WADA will review the facts, discuss with the relevant IF and reserves the right to bring them forward to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.”
The news comes as RUSADA announced a positive doping test of teenage swimmer Olesya Moiseeva.