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Russian sports chief denies manipulations with Moscow Anti-Doping Lab’s database

Experts say that there were no deletions and it is about technical issues regarding the system, the minister said

MOSCOW, November 7. /TASS/. No alterations have been made in the database of the Moscow Anti-Doping Laboratory before its data was handed over to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), Russian Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov said on Thursday.

WADA announced on September 23 that it had initiated a probe into the compliance status of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency with the Code of the world’s governing anti-doping body based on the inconsistencies reportedly discovered in the data from the Moscow Anti-Doping Laboratory.

"Experts say that there were no deletions and it is about technical issues regarding the system," Kolobkov told journalists. "All these issues will be clarified at the next meeting between experts from Russia and WADA."

"There were no manipulations, as [Yury] Ganus [the president of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency] calls them. This is our position," the sports minister said.

Kolobkov reiterated that Russia has fulfilled all obligations having provided data from the Moscow Anti-Doping Laboratory to WADA.

"We did everything to fulfill obligations, which we undertook in September last year, and we have fulfilled them," he stated.

"A technical issue still remains, it must be discussed by experts and I would rather not be attributing these questions to athletes," Kolobkov said. "Such questions only raise nervousness of our athletes, coaches and federations."

Chair of the WADA Compliance Review Committee Jonathan Taylor told TASS last month that a decision on the expediency of imposing sanctions on the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) may be made at an extraordinary session of the WADA Executive Committee, which will take place after November 7 already under the organization’s new president.

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.

The WADA Executive Committee may pass a decision on the status of RUSADA on December 9 in case the WADA Compliance Review Committee comes up this month with its recommendations on the issue.

The new international standard on the compliance status states that athletes coming from countries, where national anti-doping agencies are non-compliant with the WADA Code, may be barred from all international tournaments, including the Olympic Games.