WADA team returns to Moscow amid Russian doping scandal

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) team is in Moscow in a bid to obtain elusive laboratory data which could help them file doping charges against numerous Russian athletes.

Three WADA officials in charge of operations are making their third visit at the Moscow laboratory data attempting to finally extract the data as a condition to re-instate the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) in September after a three-year ban.

However, the agreement was plunged into doubt when a five-man team was prevented from carrying out its mission by the December 31 deadline because its technical equipment had not been certified by the local authorities.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov announced on Wednesday that the Russian sports authorities and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) had reached an agreement on accessing the data.

Peskov denied suggestions that Russia had violated obligations to WADA by blocking access to the laboratory where doping samples and data have been stored since 2011.

“There were some working disagreements which arose last time related to which storage devices (the data) will be transferred onto and how, and so on. I would say these are not so much substantial matters as issues of logistics,” he said.

“As far as we know via our sports authorities, there are intensive contacts under way and now understanding has been reached with the WADA representatives regarding how the work will continue.”

WADA spokesman James Fitzgerald confirmed a three-person team returned to Moscow after leaving empty-handed last month.

He said WADA estimates the team will stay three days, but “it could be longer, could be shorter.”

WADA said it could still accept Russian cooperation before a committee meeting rules on RUSADA next week, while Russia must also make stored lab samples available for analysis by June 30.

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