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IWF provisionally suspends five Russian weightlifters based on Moscow Lab’s data

The names of the weightlifters at the issue have not been disclosed

MOSCOW, August 13. /TASS/. The International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) has imposed provisional suspensions against five Russian athletes citing violations of anti-doping rules based on the data from the Moscow Anti-Doping Laboratory, the world’s governing body of the weightlifting sport announced in a statement on Tuesday.

This is the first case of Russian athletes’ suspension based on the data retrieved from the Moscow Anti-Doping Laboratory by experts from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). The names of the Russian weightlifters at the issue have not been disclosed in the statement.

Commenting on the decision, IWF President Tamas Ajan said: "The IWF regrets these additional cases of doping in our sport from some years ago."

"We can be satisfied, however, that the IWF has shown once again our determination to protect clean sport and promote clean athletes," Ajan was quoted as saying in the statement. "We have not shown any hesitation in taking the right decisions."

"While the IWF has done so much to begin a bright new chapter for our sport, we will also do what we can to pursue historical cases of doping, especially when such evidence is provided by partners like WADA," Ajan added.

WADA’s press service announced in early July that it suspected 298 Russian athletes of violating anti-doping regulations based on the LIMS (Laboratory Information Management System) data retrieved from the Moscow Anti-Doping Lab.

According to the WADA, its Intelligence and Investigations (I&I) body compiled evidentiary packages following the reanalysis of the data and these packages were sent to the relevant international sports federations, "which have commenced assessment of the evidence with a view to identifying those cases to take forward as Anti-Doping Rule Violations."

Specialists from WADA were granted access to the database of the Moscow Anti-Doping Laboratory in January this year and copied 24 terabytes of information on Russian athletes’ doping samples collected between 2012 and 2015. WADA experts finished their work to retrieve doping samples from the Moscow Lab on April 30 having collected 2,262 doping samples in 4,524 containers (Samples A and B).

The WADA Executive Committee reinstated the compliance status of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) on September 20, 2018 on condition that WADA experts would be granted access before December 31, 2018 to doping samples at the Moscow Anti-Doping Lab, which was sealed off in connection with a federal investigation.

RUSADA Director General Yury Ganus told TASS on August 11 that the data of the reanalyzed doping samples from the Moscow laboratory had been already shared with international sports federations, which would start handing down verdicts after their internal investigations.