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World Anti-Doping Agency gives Russia 3 weeks to explain samples

By Clyde Hughes
World Anti-Doping Agency gives Russia 3 weeks to explain samples
The Russian Anti-Doping Agency RUSADA is under investigation again by the World Anti-Doping Agency. File Photo by Maxim Shipenknov/EPA-EFE

Sept. 23 (UPI) -- The World Anti-Doping Agency on Monday gave a Russian laboratory three weeks to explain new inconsistencies involving samples from Russian athletes.

The Russian Anti-Doping Agency, which has been long under suspicion of helping athletes break doping rules, had recently been reinstated by WADA. New accusations have surfaced, however, that RUSAD may have manipulated data for some athletes.

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WADA said in a statement it's opened a formal investigation for possible tampering.

"Ensuring the authenticity of the Moscow Laboratory Information Management System and underlying raw data was one of the critical conditions imposed by the [WADA executive committee] for RUSADA to maintain its compliance with the Code when the ExCo decided to reinstate RUSADA as code-compliant in September 2018," the global body said in a statement.

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WADA said it had been analyzing data in 47 cases involving Russia, but none of them were affected by its decision to investigate RUSADA.

The agency said the inquiry has been placed on a "fast-track basis" and that the Russian Ministry of Sport must provide copies of data for independent forensic experts.

"Once that response has been received and analyzed, WADA and the independent forensic experts will report back to the [compliance review committee], so that the CRC is in a position to decide whether to bring a formal recommendation," WADA said.

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Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said officials are aware of WADA's investigation.

"We know that WADA has in fact questions to us and a deadline of three weeks was set to prepare answers to them," Peskov said. "We should just wait for these three weeks.

"The Kremlin is not interacting with WADA since this issue is in the competence of the Russian sports authorities and it is up to them to come up with the answers."

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