Russia to finally allow Wada inspection of its doping laboratories

The Kremlin on Wednesday night claimed an “understanding” had been reached on handing over Russian drug sample data to the World Anti-Doping Agency as inspectors arrived in Moscow for a third attempt to gain access to laboratories.

Officials from the beleaguered agency have insisted the nation will not be allowed off the hook for missing the Dec 31 deadline to provide full access to samples. Following this week’s visit, Wada’s compliance review committee will meet to decide what action to take.

In an attempt to explain why Russia had missed the deadline, a spokesman for president Vladimir Putin claimed that there had been disagreements over how the data would be transferred.

“There were some disagreements related to which storage devices [the data] will be transferred on to and how, and so on,” the spokesman said. “I would say these are not so much substantial matters as issues of logistics. Now understanding has been reached with the Wada representatives regarding how the work will continue.”

Wada said the three-person team had arrived in the Russian capital. “They look forward to starting their work,” a spokesman said ahead of a potential three-day inspection.

Sir Craig Reedie, Wada president, had previously said “we are continuing to act on the basis” that the deadline has already been missed “with all the consequences that failure could bring”.

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