MOSCOW (AP) – The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has turned over evidence from 43 Russian doping cases to international sports federations, all based on the trove of data received from the Moscow laboratory that WADA scientists gained access to earlier this year.
International federations will analyse the data and decide whether to pursue the cases. In situations where they don’t, WADA has the right to bring the cases to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
The 43 cases are among at least 298 “priority cases” that WADA hopes to deliver to federations by the end of the year.
Last month, in a separate handover, WADA gave more than 100,000 computer files to the agency handling track and field cases.
Data from the Moscow lab already has led to the four-year bans of two Russian biathletes.
“The fact that we have moved to the results management phase means we are another step closer to bringing to justice those who cheated,” said Gunter Younger, the scientist who spearheaded WADA’s search of the Moscow lab. “This is an excellent development for clean sport and athletes around the world.”
Gunther said it couldn’t have been done without WADA’s decision last year to reinstate Russia’s banned anti-doping agency before receiving the data, which had run counter to its earlier requirements. Russia missed a December 31 deadline to turn over the data but allowed access to the lab a few weeks later.
WADA has been evaluating the data, along with samples it has accessed, and the 298 cases are the ones with the most suspicious data.
Russian Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov said “the Russian side is complying with all agreements”.
“It is worth waiting for the results of expert analysis and not jumping to conclusions,” Kolobkov said. “If an athlete has violated anti-doping rules, he will be suspended. Russia is a supporter of clean sport.”
WADA is also working with digital forensics experts to examine differences in data provided by former lab director Grigory Rodchenkov in 2017 and what was removed from the lab earlier this year.
“WADA remains encouraged by the significant progress achieved by RUSADA under its new management with the support of WADA and others,” it said in a news release.