RUSADA appeals for WADA to be granted Moscow lab ac­cess

The Borneo Post - - SPORT -

MOSCOW: Russia’s anti- dop­ing agency (RUSADA) called for World Anti-Dop­ing Agency ( WADA) in­spec­tors to be per­mit­ted ac­cess to the Moscow test­ing lab­o­ra­tory, one of the con­di­tions re­quired for the body to re­gain ‘com­pli­ant’ sta­tus.

“We­have­fora­long­timer­e­stricted ac­cess to sam­ples in the Moscow lab­o­ra­tory, which be­longs to the In­ter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee and the in­ter­na­tional fed­er­a­tions,” said RUSADA di­rec­tor- gen­eral Yuri Ganus, quoted by TASS news agency.

“In do­ing that, we are vi­o­lat­ing the rules of the World Anti-Dop­ing Agency, whose right is to con­duct ad­di­tional in­spec­tions,” he said at a fo­rum in Saint Petersburg.

“I don’t un­der­stand why we can’t guar­an­tee them ac­cess to the sam­ples. Es­pe­cially since, as you know, this is a mat­ter of trust,” Ganus con­tin­ued, adding that he has told Rus­sian author­i­ties al­low­ing ac­cess was of ‘the ut­most im­por­tance’.

RUSADA has been at the cen­tre of a stand­off be­tween WADA and Russia ever since the body’s sus­pen­sion in Novem­ber 2015 fol­low­ing rev­e­la­tions of a vast dop­ing scan­dal in­volv­ing Moscow’s main drug-test­ing lab­o­ra­tory.

WADA has set out a roadmap de­tail­ing the path RUSADA must take to re­gain com­pli­ant sta­tus and re­join the ranks of recog­nised test­ing author­i­ties.

The agency has al­ready been al­lowed to re­sume dop­ing con­trols un­der the su­per­vi­sion of WADAap­pointed mon­i­tors and the UK Anti-Dop­ing Agency.

How­ever, in the eyes of WADA, RUSADA has still failed to meet two key con­di­tions nec­es­sary for it re­gain its full com­pli­ant sta­tus, namely grant­ing ac­cess to the Moscow lab­o­ra­tory and sam­ples that may have been stored there, as well as fully ac­cept­ing the find­ings of the bomb­shell McLaren re­port.

Russia’s non- com­pli­ance has al­ready led to dead­lock in ath­let­ics.

Rus­sian track and field ath­letes were barred from the 2016 Olympics and 2017 World Cham­pi­onships in Lon­don, with the ex­cep­tion of a hand­ful of ex­empted Rus­sian ath­letes com­pet­ing un­der a neu­tral ban­ner.

The coun­try was also for­mally banned from tak­ing part in this year’s Win­ter Olympics, but 168 ath­letes deemed ‘clean’ were al­lowed to com­pete as neu­trals.

The WADA im­passe takes on added sig­nif­i­cance with the football World Cup due to kick off in Russia in just un­der a month’s time. — AFP

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