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Kremlin confirms there is 'understanding' with WADA

A delegation of WADA experts begins another visit to Moscow on Wednesday

MOSCOW, January 9. /TASS/. Russia has reached an understanding with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) regarding the handover of Russian athletes’ doping samples data, Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday.

Peskov told journalists that a number of technical aspects concerning this issue remained unsettled until today.

"The data was ready to be handed over [to WADA] during the previous visit," he said. "Certain work disagreements erupted in regard to data storage devices and so on."

"I would say that these issues were rather not substantial, but were of logistics nature," Peskov said. "Intensive contacts are currently underway at the level of our sports departments and an understanding has been reached with WADA concerning the future work."

A delegation of WADA experts begins on Wednesday another visit to Moscow to have another try to access the data of Russian athletes’ doping samples for the period of 2011-2015 stored at the Moscow Anti-Doping Laboratory. The future of Russian sports depends on the successful outcome of this mission as it faces serious sanctions in view of a possible annulment of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency’s (RUSADA) compliance with the International Code.

The delegation is led by independent expert Dr. Jose Antonio Pascual, who is a research scientist and academic in Barcelona. He already paid a visit to Moscow with his colleagues on December 17, but failed to accomplish the set task. His group was deprived of the right to use their equipment since it was not certified in Russia.

The main problem was that WADA had to coordinate all its actions with the Russian Investigative Committee since the Moscow Anti-Doping Lab is still sealed in connection with the federal investigation, which was opened about three years ago.

It is still unclear why all technical issues were not settled in line with the initial timeframe set by the WADA as there were more than three months to do it since RUSADA was reinstated with WADA on September 20. Moreover, a delegation from WADA concluded its preparatory visit to Moscow in November.

As a result, the Russian side failed to meet the deadline set by WADA for RUSADA’s reinstatement as the global anti-doping body did not access the data of Russian athletes’ doping samples at the Moscow Anti-Doping Lab before December 31.