Russian Anti-Doping Agency, as good as non-compliant, ban should continue

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The Russian Anti-Doping Agency’s (RUSADA) non-compliance with the procedures required of them to gain reinstatement into international sport baffles the mind. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) was expected to gain access to the Moscow Laboratory and their computer system Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) and its data.

Russia apparently guaranteed WADA access and WADA president Craig Reedie announced it so. Now Russia has stalled and is preventing WADA from entering the lab. A special five-person team travelled to Moscow and were turned back as RUSADA claimed the tools were not certified in Russia. This appears to be a bogus excuse.

They have much to hide, otherwise, the door to the lab would swing open. RUSADA is non-compliant and their ban needs to continue.

WADA’s independent Compliance Review Committee (CRC) is going discuss the matter at a meeting that is scheduled for Jan. 14 and 15 in Montreal.

When asked about the stalling tactic WADA founder and former president Dick Pound told Athletics Illustrated, “One is never certain whether it is a glitch in their internal processes, dyspepsia or a determined refusal to comply, out of concern for what they know is contained in the database.”

He added, “My guess is that the Russians know WADA means business on this issue and that they will find a way to comply, even if a bit late. The important thing is to get the files and data, not just to be mean for the sake of being mean. If it is two weeks late, that is not the end of the world.”

However, during the intervening “two weeks” RUSADA could remove sensitive and important data from LIMS.

RUSADA was originally banned in 2015, and were brought back in Sept. on the condition that they allow access to the laboratory by Dec. 31.

The ban should simply continue.