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Russian anti-doping chief urges opening access to samples in Moscow laboratory

May 16, 15:15 UTC+3 ST. PETERSBURG

An access to the Moscow anti-doping laboratory must be granted as soon as possible to international experts, according to the Russian anti-doping chief

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ST. PETERSBURG, May 16. /TASS/. An access to the Moscow anti-doping laboratory, which was sealed off earlier by the Russian Investigative as part of its criminal investigation, must be granted as soon as possible to international experts, the head of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) told TASS said on Wednesday.

An access of international experts to doping samples stored in the Moscow anti-doping laboratory is one of the remaining two requirements for RUSADA’s currently suspended membership reinstatement with the World Anti-Doping Agency.

"We have been for a long time restricting the access to samples at the Moscow laboratory, which is owned by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and international federations," RUSADA head Yury Ganus said addressing the 2018 St. Petersburg International Legal Forum.

"Therefore, we are violating the rights of the regulator, which is the World Anti-Doping Agency, for its right to carry out additional inspections, stipulated by the World Anti-Doping Code," he said.

Ganus told TASS later that he had already informed the Russian investigative authorities about the importance of granting access to the laboratory.

"I have already informed the investigative bodies that this issue is of extreme importance at the moment," the RUSADA head said.

The WADA Independent Commission carried out an investigation in 2015 in regard to the activities of the RUSADA, the All-Russia Athletics Federation (ARAF), the Moscow anti-doping laboratory and the Russian Sports Ministry, and announced the results of its probe on November 9, 2015.

The commission accused certain athletes and sports officials of doping abuse and involvement in other activities related to violations of international regulations on performance enhancing substances. The work of the Moscow anti-doping laboratory and RUSADA was eventually suspended.

Since January 2016, the doping control in Russian sports has been exercised by the RUSADA strictly under the supervision of the British anti-doping agency (UKAD).

In June 2017, the WADA granted the Russian Anti-Doping Agency the right for planning and collection of doping samples under the supervision of Britain’s UKAD.

The WADA announced in April of 2016 that it appointed two independent experts to monitor Russia’s implementation of requirements for its reinstatement with the world’s governing anti-doping agency.

The two independent experts were confirmed by WADA as Peter Nicholson from Australia, who specializes in international criminal investigations, and who was also part of the 2015 Cycling Independent Reform Commission (CIRC); and Ieva Lukosiute-Stanikuniene, the Director of the Lithuanian Anti-Doping Agency and Chair of the Council of Europe Advisory Group on Education.

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