MOSCOW, December 19. /TASS/. Russian Olympic Biathlon Champions Evgeny Ustyugov and Svetlana Sleptsova turned to the Russian Investigative Committee asking to allow their representatives to participate jointly with experts from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in the review of the electronic archives’ data of the Moscow Anti-Doping Laboratory (LIMS). This was stated in a letter of Ustyugov and Sleptsova to the Russian Investigative Committee and a copy of the letter was obtained by TASS.
The International Biathlon Union (IBU) confirmed on November 30 that Ustyugov, Sleptsova, Alexander Pechenkin and Alexander Chernyshov were suspected of violating anti-doping regulations. The IBU initiated proceedings against them basing the decision on the LIMS system data.
"At the moment we are involved in disciplinary proceedings at the International Biathlon Union," the letter from Ustyugov and Sleptsova reads. "The IBU’s unjustified and unfounded accusations of anti-doping rules violations are based exclusively on the "evidence" received from Mr. Rodchenkov, and, in particular, on a copy from the LIMS system data from the Moscow Anti-Doping Lab provided by an "unidentified person"."
The Russian Investigative Committee stated earlier that after Grigory Rodchenkov fled to the United States he could still had an access to the electronic archives’ data and could have fabricated the data.
"We know that currently it has been agreed for the WADA experts to be granted access to the records of the Moscow Anti-Doping Lab," the letter reads. "We believe this is our only chance to see the truth prevail. We ask for our representatives to be allowed to take part in the review of the electronic archives’ data of the Moscow Anti-Doping Lab, and to provide them with authentic copies of the LIMS data in relation to our samples. We hope that the justice will be served and our reputation will be restored."
The copies of this letter were sent to the International Olympic Committee, WADA, IBU, the Russian Sports Ministry, the Russian Olympic Committee, the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) and the Russian Biathlon Union. Two-time Olympic Champion Ustyugov wrapped up with his career after the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi. Sleptsova, the Olympic champion in the relay competition at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, wrapped up with her career after 2017 Biathlon World Championships last summer, when she won three gold medals.
WADA technical experts began on Tuesday their work to retrieve data on doping samples analysis of Russian athletes for the period between 2011 and 2015 kept at the former facility of the Moscow laboratory. Granting access to LIMS data is one of the key conditions for the reinstatement of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA). In mid-January, the WADA Compliance Review Committee will present a recommendation to the WADA Executive Committee. The Committee will make a final decision in regard to RUSADA, which was declared non-compliant with the international Code in November 2015 following WADA Independent Commission’s probe into doping abuse allegations in Russian track and field athletics.