Sat, 14 Dec 2019

Montreal - The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) said on Monday that its Executive Committee (ExCo) will meet on December 9 to consider further action against the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA).

WADA said in a statement that its Compliance Review Committee had met on Sunday and decided to "bring a formal recommendation" to the ExCo.

The announcement is part of the formal procedure opened by WADA on 17 September because of "inconsistencies found in some of the data that was retrieved by WADA from the Moscow Laboratory in January 2019."

On Sunday, the CRC considered a report from "the Agency's Intelligence and Investigations Department and independent forensic experts."

It said the report included "consideration of responses from the Russian authorities to a list of detailed and technical questions" raised by the experts.

The statement pointed out that the timing meant that the ExCo would still be "under the chairmanship of WADA President Sir Craig Reedie whose term of office runs until 31 December 2019."

Russia has been banned in a string of sports for state-sponsored doping between 2011 and 2015.

Last September, WADA conditionally lifted its ban on RUSADA on the condition that it was granted of access to thousands of samples and computer files at the tainted Moscow lab.

After delays, WADA officials gained access in January and "successfully retrieved" the data. But in September, WADA said it had found "inconsistencies" in some of the files and samples and demanded an explanation from Moscow.

Earlier this month, Yuri Ganous, the head of RUSADA, said "the changes to the data are so big and significant that it can't be an accident."

He said his organisation had been a victim of "outside forces" and blamed unnamed Russian officials for "irresponsible and destructive actions."

He told German magazine that "the punishment is going to be very tough."

President Vladimir Putin responded that Russia was cooperating with WADA.

"The requirements presented by this organisation are being fully complied with," Putin said.

Russian Minister of Sports, Pavel Kolobkov, announced that Russia was planning to send a delegation of 400 athletes to the Olympic Games next summer in Tokyo.

WADA said in its statement on Monday that it "continues to pursue this matter robustly and as quickly as practicable."

It added that the problems were not an excuse for delays in the 47 cases sent in July to international sports federations for disciplinary action. They "were based on data that were unaffected by these inconsistencies," said the statement.

"Those cases can proceed without delay, and more such cases will follow."

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