By Steve Keating
MONTREAL (Reuters) – Due to a threat of interference in the collection of doping data and safety concerns for their inspection team, the Compliance Review Committee (CRC) will not file a report until the Moscow mission is complete, said the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) on Tuesday.
Following two days of meetings at WADA’s Montreal headquarters the CRC had said it would submit a report on the Russian Anti-Doping Agency’s (RUSADA) code compliance status to the executive committee by no later than Thursday.
But with the inspection team still in Russia retrieving data from the tainted Moscow laboratory, WADA was unwilling to put either the process or team members at risk.
“The CRC will not send us their report and recommendation until the team is out of Russia,” WADA director general Olivier Niggli told Reuters on Tuesday.
“The only thing they (CRC) said was they don’t want to send that until they have confirmation the mission is out of Russia.
“It is not just out of safety concerns it is also to ensure that there is no interference with the mission in Russia.
“From what I hear the mission is going well we will do nothing to actually risk that mission when this has been the whole goal for what we have been doing the last three months.”
Access to the Moscow lab and data was a condition of WADA’s controversial September decision to provisionally reinstate RUSADA.
The inspection team, which has been in Moscow since last Wednesday, is close to wrapping up its mission and any delays in producing a report would be minor.
The executive committee will consider the CRC’s recommendations and will announce its ruling on Jan. 22 as scheduled.
(Editing by Greg Stutchbury)