The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Monday has issued Russia strictly three weeks to give an explanation on the “inconsistencies” in a cache of laboratory data given to the investigators, leading to the possibility of a fresh ban on the country in the with less than a year left for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Russia has a huge chance to be declared non-compliant by WADA if it cannot explain the evidence of a few positive tests given by a whistleblower does not tally in data given by Moscow’s anti-doping laboratory in January.
If Russia decides to fight an eventual suspension by WADA the case will be fought in the Swiss-based Court of Arbitration for Sport, whose decision will be the final on sports bodies including the International Olympic Committee.
“Forensic experts have conducted a thorough examination at what we got from whistleblowers, what we received from Russia and they observed a lot of inconsistencies,” WADA director general Olivier Niggli told AFP after an executive committee meeting in Tokyo.
“Then they analyzed the variations and this came to a stop where there are some questions that need to be asked and answered.”
WADA has previously issued a strict warning that it would take the “most stringent sanctions” if any of the data was found to have been altered with.
Russian sports minister Pavel Kolobkov claimed that the WADA and RUSADA, the Russian anti-doping agency, would investigate into ‘inconsistencies’
“Digital experts are both sides, who are already in contact, will see what the tampered materials are about and what they are connected to.
As far as we are concerned, we are fully cooperative and will continue to help in every possible way we can,” he said in comments released by his ministry.
Russia released over thousands of files from its Moscow anti-doping laboratory in January, fulfilling a major condition for its reinstatement by WADA last September.
RUSADA had been suspended for nearly three years after allegations of wrongdoing were found true. This also includes planned cheating to tamper with tainted samples at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.