The Moscow anti-doping laboratory has had its approved status suspended by the World Anti-Doping Agency in the latest development in the Russian doping scandal.
WADA announced the move on Wednesday evening, saying the step had been taken in light of the decision made by its executive committee on December 9 last year to declare the Russian anti-doping agency non-compliant over manipulated data retrieved from the lab.
WADA is seeking a four-year ban that would see Russian athletes barred from this summer’s Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo.Credit:AP
Data extracted from the laboratory under the terms of Russian reinstatement to compliance in September 2018 was found to have been the subject of "intentional alteration and deletion", which has been viewed as a "serious violation" of the code of ethics of the International Standard for Laboratories.
"This provisional suspension prohibits the Moscow laboratory from carrying out any work related to the analysis of blood samples in connection with the Athlete Biological Passport (ABP) program and will remain in place pending disciplinary proceedings to be carried out by an independent disciplinary committee," a WADA statement said.
WADA is seeking to impose a four-year ban on Russian teams in international competition and on Russia hosting international sporting events, with only athletes who can prove they were not connected to the manipulation being exempted.
Under the ban, Russian athletes would be barred from this summer's Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo.
RUSADA has formally lodged an appeal against the sanctions and the case will be heard by the Court of Arbitration for Sport later this year.
WADA said its Laboratory Expert Group had made a recommendation to the chair of its executive committee, Witold Banka – the new president of WADA – on Tuesday to impose the provisional suspension.
"During the period of suspension, all ABP samples collected prior to the date of the provisional suspension may be analysed by the Moscow laboratory and the laboratory will need to contact all relevant testing authorities to determine whether any stored ABP samples need to be transported to a WADA-accredited or ABP-approved laboratory for further analysis," the statement added.
The Moscow laboratory's full accreditation was revoked in 2015 following the uncovering of systematic, state-sponsored doping in Russia.
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