Paris: The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) said Friday it will send a team next week to retrieve data from a Moscow anti-doping laboratory, a key requirement for the full reinstatement of the Russian anti-doping agency (RUSADA).
The five-person technical team will travel to Moscow on Monday "to access the Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) and the underlying raw data of the laboratory, as required by WADA's executive committee decision of 20 September", WADA said.
The finger was firmly pointed at the Moscow laboratory by a WADA report that found it at the heart of a state-sponsored Russian doping cover-up. The lab has until December 31 to hand over data or risk having RUSADA suspended again.
WADA director general Olivier Niggli said: "Following an initial meeting last month between WADA and the Russian public authorities, we have been preparing for the full technical mission to gain access to the Moscow Laboratory and the relevant data, in line with the strict conditions set for RUSADA's reinstatement.
"Gaining full access to the laboratory and the data contained within it was the reason behind the 20 September decision and it is satisfying that we are another step closer to realizing that. The raw data is the missing piece of the puzzle that will complement the duplicate LIMS database that is already in WADA's possession and help conclude WADA's McLaren and Operation LIMS investigations."
WADA said the data contained within the laboratory would need to be fully assessed and verified, after which they would then be used, in conjunction with the re-analysis of samples as required, to build cases against athletes who cheated.
A WADA team last week completed a two-day audit of RUSADA, in accordance with the strict conditions of its reinstatement. "Based on its findings, the audit team will prepare a full report highlighting any outstanding issues that need to be addressed," WADA said.