As suggested by Athletics Illustrated during the multiple delays by the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) in allowing the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) into the famed Moscow Laboratory – the belly of the beast of Russian systematic doping –  it was due to data manipulation.

This has now been repeated by Yury Ganus the director-general of RUSADA.

Russia now deserves the continuation of their ban for an indefinite length of time. Clearly they have not changed their cheating culture yet.

From Inside the Games

Ganus has suggested “thousands” of changes were made to the Moscow Laboratory data before it was handed over to WADA.

In an interview with German magazine Der Spiegel, Ganus claimed some of the changes, which included the names of athletes involved, were made as late as December 2018 and January 2019.

Ganus also said the alterations to the data retrieved by WADA in January were too “big and significant” to be a “coincidence”.

His comments came after WADA confirmed it had received responses from Russia following suspicions the country tampered with data from the facility.

WADA demanded the Russian Sports Ministry and RUSADA explain “inconsistencies” it found in the data by today.

Russia has to address the differences between the Laboratory Information Management System database provided by a whistleblower in October 2017 and the version WADA extracted from the facility earlier this year.

Ganus’ concession appears to strengthen the case for RUSADA to be declared non-compliant – a sanction which would trigger a range of punishments, including a ban from sending athletes to Tokyo 2020.

“It’s not about deleting entire data packets, but changing or moving them in different places,” the RUSADA chief said.

“Someone has tried to hush up information on a large scale.

“It could also be about athletes’ names.

“It’s not just about what was, the record of 2015, but also about how the material was changed afterwards.

“We speak of months, the most recent changes date from December 2018 and January 2019.”

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