WADA successfully retrieves Moscow laboratory samples

RUSADA has met another condition of it being deemed compliant by WADA, which retrieved over 2,500 samples from a Moscow laboratory.

File photo showing the logo of the World Anti-Doping Agency at the headquarters of the organisation in Montreal.   -  AFP

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has successfully retrieved 2,262 samples from a Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) laboratory in Moscow.

WADA had previously retrieved data from the laboratory in January, with Russia having missed a December deadline to provide full access.

Allowing access to that data was a stipulation of WADA's Executive Committee reinstating RUSADA as compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code in September.

There had subsequently been calls for RUSADA to be deemed non-compliant again, however, WADA said on January 22 that the body would face no punishment.

Granting access to the samples for reanalysis by June 30, 2019 was also a condition of reinstatement.

The samples will now be taken for analysis at a laboratory outside of Russia and will be used to "strengthen cases against those who may have cheated and may exonerate athletes who have not committed an anti-doping rule violation," according to WADA director of intelligence and investigations Gunter Younger.

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"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,” Younger said in a statement.

"We can therefore proceed to the next phase and support the various International Federations (IFs) and other Anti-Doping Organisations to bring cases forward."

An update from Younger's team is expected to be provided at a meeting of the WADA board, which takes place on May 15-16.