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Report: Former WADA Chief Downplays Russia Missing Lab Deadline

The former head of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is downplaying the fact that Russia missed the latest deadline to allow international inspectors access to a Moscow laboratory.

Dick Pound told the AFP news agency on January 11 that he opposed any move to impose new sanctions against Russia.

Inspectors from WADA traveled to Russia this week, and on January 10, began to access data at a tainted testing center.

It was the second attempt after an earlier visit in December. Moscow missed the December 31 deadline to give WADA full access to lab data.

Russian sport has been under a cloud for years, after revelations of a state-sponsored doping effort involving hundreds of athletes during the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

Critics of WADA have called for Russia to be punished again for missing the deadline. Pound said he didn't think it was a major issue.

"It's not the end of the world," he was quoted as saying.

"I think it's more important to concentrate on the information and test it to make sure that it's complete and it's not been altered and then to see if there are cases of anti-doping that need to be followed up by disciplinary process," he said.

In September, WADA called for lifting sanctions against Russia and its own national anti-doping agency, RUSADA, citing improvements. Pound defended that decision.

Travis Tygart, the head of the U.S. anti-doping agency, has described Russia missing the December 31 deadline as a "total joke and an embarrassment for WADA and the global anti-doping system."

Based on reporting by AFP

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