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Doping Inspectors Say Denied Access To Russian Lab Data

The Russian anti-doping agency (RUSADA) office in Moscow
The Russian anti-doping agency (RUSADA) office in Moscow

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) says its inspectors were denied access to a Moscow laboratory's data as part of their investigation, and Russia's anti-doping agency is at risk of being suspended again.

The Canadian-based WADA said on December 21 that its five-member team had spent a week in Russia and managed to visit the Moscow lab in question. But they weren't able to retrieve any of the data the team had been promised access to.

Russian authorities maintained that the inspection team's technical equipment had not been certified under Russian law, WADA said.

Access to the lab and data was a condition of a decision made by WADA to reinstate the Russian anti-doping agency, RUSADA.

The standoff could lose RUSADA could lose its authorization to conduct reliable doping tests of athletes. That would complicate efforts by Russian athletes to prove they were in compliance with global anti-doping rules.

WADA had set a December 31 deadline for RUSADA to meet the condition or once again be found noncompliant and face even tougher sanctions.

The inspection team's formal report will be submitted to a committee that that will meet next month to consider RUSADA's status.

In 2015, RUSADA was handed a three-year ban after inspectors documented an extensive government-backed doping scheme that had been in use during the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

With reporting by Reuters
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