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WADA may strip Moscow lab of right to test blood samples

"That’s why we will have to think how to quickly deliver blood samples to Europe", Deputy Director General of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency Margarita Pakhnotskaya said
Deputy Director General of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) Margarita Pakhnotskaya RUSADA Press Service
Deputy Director General of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) Margarita Pakhnotskaya
© RUSADA Press Service

MOSCOW, December 8. /TASS/. The World Anti-Doping Agency may deprive the Moscow anti-doping laboratory of its right to process blood samples over illegal manipulations with an old database revealed by WADA experts, Deputy Director General of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) Margarita Pakhnotskaya said in an interview with TASS.

In November 2015, WADA found that RUSADA was non-compliant with its code and also suspended the operations of the anti-doping laboratory, which was stripped of accreditation. In May 2016, WADA allowed the lab to test blood samples for issuing athletes’ blood passports.

"This threat of deprivation is very real," Pakhnotskaya said. "Now we have agreements with 13 European anti-doping laboratories, but we cannot deliver blood to either of them within 24 hours since collecting it. And for blood passports this analysis has a very short time of storage."

"Those countries, with which we have a single customs space, don’t have anti-doping laboratories accredited by WADA. That’s why we will have to think how to quickly deliver blood samples to Europe. But it’s clear that this will be more complicated and much more costly," she noted.

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

On November 25, the WADA Compliance Review Committee (CRC) reiterated its previous recommendation for the world anti-doping body’s Executive Committee (ExCo) to strip RUSADA (the Russian Anti-Doping Agency) of its compliance status and came up with a recommendation of additional sanctions against Russian sports.

Among the recommended sanctions, the CRC suggested to bar Russia from all international sports competitions, including the Olympic and Paralympic Games, for a four-year period. The Committee also issued a recommendation to deprive Russia of the right to host international sports events during this period. The WADA Executive Committee will pass a final decision on Russia at its meeting on December 9 in Lausanne.