Russia risks being excluded from the Olympics, world championships and hosting any major sporting event, the World Anti- Doping Agency (WADA) has warned.
This is after ‘discrepancies’ and ‘inconsistencies’ were recorded in a WADA lab database.
According to WADA’s Compliance Panel chairman Jonathan Taylor, there is an indication data was deleted from the database.
“There’s evidence this data has been deleted. We need to understand from the Russian authorities what their explanation is,” Taylor was quoted on English news outlet BBC on Tuesday, September 24.
Russia has now been given a maximum of three weeks to explain the inconsistencies or risk severe consequences.
In 2016, it was reported Russia operated a ‘state-sponsored’ doping programme which saw it manipulate athlete’s urine samples. It was referred to as the ‘Disappearing Positive Methodology’ – where samples provide would mysteriously disappear. This would help athlete prepare well for upcoming major championships.
Early this year, as one of the conditions required for them to be re-integrated into the sport after a three-year suspension, Russia handed over information (data) from its laboratories in Moscow.
On Monday, September 23, WADA settled on opening compliance proceedings against the Russian Anti-Doping Agency, saying the data provided by Russian authorities had been manipulated.
Speaking to BBC, Taylor explained experts’ findings will determine the manner in which to deal with the situation.
“This is hypothetical at the moment, but if the experts maintain their current view, then the compliance review committee will make a recommendation to send a notice to Rusada asserting ‘you’re non-compliant’ and proposing consequences,” explained Taylor.