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World Doping Agency Probing 'Inconsistencies' With Russian Data


The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) says it has begun compliance proceedings against the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) over “inconsistencies” in the data it supplied at the start of the year.

WADA said in a statement on September 23 that its Executive Committee had received an update on the analysis of data from the Moscow laboratory which contained the results of thousands of anti-doping tests undergone by Russian athletes.

It added that 47 cases had been highlighted and were being acted on.

"The ExCO [executive committee] was informed that further investigation...of inconsistencies in Moscow Laboratory data had led WADA to open a formal compliance procedure against RUSADA on 17 September 2019," WADA said in the statement published during a meeting of the committee in Tokyo.

"The ExCo was advised that WADA had decided to pursue the compliance procedure against RUSADA on a fast-track basis."

Interfax quoted Aleksei Ivlev, the head of RUSADA's supervisory board, as saying Russia has three weeks to explain the issues and that "the answer will be given."

Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said after the statement was made public that the Kremlin was aware of WADA's concerns, but that it was a matter to be dealt with by Russian sports authorities.

RUSADA being declared noncompliant by WADA would ratchet up pressure on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to exclude Russia from the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.

It also threatens to ensure a continuation of Russia’s ban from international athletics competitions just days before the start of the World Athletics Championships in Doha.

The governing council of the International Association of Athletics Federations will meet on September 23 where Russia’s reinstatement is on the agenda.

Russian international athletic activities have been in disarray since a 2015 report by WADA outlined evidence of systematic, state-backed doping in the country, which Russian government officials have denied.

Another report documented more than 1,000 doping cases across dozens of sports, most notably at the Winter Olympics that Russia hosted in Sochi in 2014.

Russia was banned from the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, in connection with the doping scandal, but 168 of its athletes were allowed to compete as neutrals under the Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR) label.

Russia was readmitted by the International Olympic Committee after the Pyeongchang Games and restrictions on its roster will be eased somewhat next year.

Last September, the WADA executive committee voted to reinstate RUSADA before it had fulfilled the requirements laid out in a "Roadmap to Compliance," which included handing over the data from the Moscow lab.

After the data and samples from the Moscow lab were finally handed over, WADA investigators performed analysis before passing on the information to international sports federations to take measures against the athletes.

With reporting by Interfax, Reuters, and AP
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