MOSCOW, May 11. /TASS/. Reported delays in deliveries of Russian athletes’ doping samples to laboratories abroad may be attributed to vast expanses of the country, an official with the Russian Sports Ministry said on Wednesday.
British TV channel Sky reported earlier in the day that doping samples collected in Russia were not delivered to foreign laboratories within the required 48-hour period as they were often delayed at the Russian customs.
Natalia Zhelanova, an advisor to the Russian sports minister on anti-doping issues, wrote in her Twitter account that the delays were possible due to enormous size of the country.
Russian sports was in the center of doping-related scandals since the fall of 2014. Since early February control over doping abuse in Russian sports has been exercised by RUSADA only under the supervision of the British anti-doping agency (UKAD).
"Neither UKAD, nor RUSADA, nor any other international sports federation reported to us problems concerning customs and deliveries of samples abroad," Zhelanova said. "Nevertheless, considering the enormous size of Russia problems regarding the timeframe of the deliveries are possible."
"We are positive that all problems will be resolved as soon as the Russian laboratory is accredited again," she said. "We are resorting to all measures to make it happen as soon as possible."
The World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) Independent Commission published on November 9 the results of its probe into the activity of the All-Russia Athletics Federation (ARAF), the Moscow anti-doping laboratory, the RUSADA and the Russian Sports Ministry.
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.
RUSADA and the Moscow anti-doping laboratory subsequently suspended their activities, while WADA’s Board of Founders approved the finding of the agency’s Independent Commission that RUSADA did not comply with the Code of the international anti-doping organization.