The World Anti-Doping Agency has provided international federations (IFs) with its first batch of data relating to its Russian investigation.
Wada Intelligence and Investigations (I&I) has identified a target pool of 298 athletes (578 samples) with the most suspicious data. Of those athletes identified, the data of 43 athletes has been reviewed and evidentiary packages compiled, with the packages having been sent to the relevant IFs.
Wada said the IFs have commenced assessment of the evidence to determine which cases will be taken forward as Anti-Doping Rule Violations (ADRVs). The assessment process will include review of the raw data by laboratory experts, which Wada said “will take some time”. It is estimated that all priority cases will have been investigated by Wada by the end of the year.
The development comes after Wada announced in January that it had successfully received the data from the Moscow laboratory implicated in the Russian doping scandal, stating that the news marked a “major breakthrough” for clean sport.
Wada reinstated the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (Rusada) in September, overturning the suspension handed out in November 2015 amid the doping scandal that enveloped Russian sport. The reinstatement came with the agreement that all data from the Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) and the underlying analytical data generated by the former Moscow Laboratory was retrieved by December 31 last year.
Rusada and the Russian authorities missed this deadline but Wada announced it had successfully received the data in mid-January.
The raw data provided by Wada to IFs is the result of sample analysis and indicates whether a substance or metabolite was detected. Wada said raw data provides the most compelling evidence in anti-doping cases, which is why its ExCo placed such importance on accessing the raw data when ensuring it was a critical condition of its September 2018 decision.
Wada said it aims to provide more packages to relevant IFs in the near future.
Gunter Younger, director of Wada I&I, said: “The fact that we have moved to the results management phase means we are another step closer to bringing to justice those who cheated. This is an excellent development for clean sport and athletes around the world.
“There is still a lot of work left to do but we wish to acknowledge the ongoing cooperation with IFs as well as Rusada. None of this progress would be possible without Wada’s ExCo decision of September 2018.”
In cases where an IF chooses not to act on the data provided, Wada will review and discuss the facts with the federation. Wada will reserve the right to bring cases forward to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
Wada I&I has also commenced a target re-analysis programme of samples removed from the Moscow laboratory. Three Adverse Analytical Findings (AAFs) have been identified and reported, with Wada I&I and Rusada having notified the athletes and progressed ADRVs.
Additionally, Wada said it met with the International Association of Athletics Federations’ (IAAF) Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) on June 18 and provided it with the LIMS and raw data for relevant athletes, including those in the Wada I&I target pool. An estimated 500GB of data was provided to the AIU, which will now review the information with a view to identifying ADRVs.