WADA experts to return to Moscow next week

Moscow (AFP) –


A team of World Anti-Doping Agency experts will return to Moscow next week to conduct an audit of the Russian anti-doping agency, Russian sports officials said Tuesday.

WADA has made access to the agency's lab a condition of the continued reinstatement of RUSADA following major doping scandals.

Last week, WADA was given access to the Moscow drug-testing laboratory for the first time.

The visit was to prepare access to data and control samples from 2011 to 2015, the period when investigations found institutional doping.

"Our aim is to pass the audit successfully, we are preparing for that," RUSADA's vice president Margarita Pakhnotskaya said in comments carried by Russian media.

"WADA will come (to Russia) on December 10 and RUSADA's audit will be on December 11 and 12," she said.

RUSADA's president Yuri Ganus told the Interfax news agency that the audit will be "a separate procedure" to the earlier Moscow lab visit.

WADA suspended RUSADA in November 2015 after investigations, including one by Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren, found Russia organised massive doping fraud centred on the Moscow testing laboratory.

After a long stalemate, WADA reversed the steps and declared Russia "compliant" in September.

The body has been widely criticised for the decision but says it will impose fresh sanctions if RUSADA does not allow raw data to be recovered from its lab.

WADA hopes it can recover data which will allow it to establish a list of samples to be reanalysed -- if they have not been destroyed -- and then forward the files to international sports federations which could then open disciplinary proceedings.