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Doping scandal: WADA investigates whether Russia tampered with data

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The office of Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) in Moscow
The office of Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) in Moscow -
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REUTERS
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Russia's anti-doping agency (RUSADA) could be in danger of being declared non-compliant by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), after the agency opened compliance proceedings just months after a suspension against RUSADA was lifted.

WADA said on Monday there were inconsistencies in data supplied by RUSADA, after an analysis of data from the Moscow laboratory which contained the results of thousands of anti-doping tests undergone by Russian sportsmen and women.

Should RUSADA be declared non-compliant, there would be increased pressure on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to exclude Russia from the Tokyo Olympics next year for failing to ensure that its athletes are clean.

Read more: Russia's long running doping saga

RUSADA was reinstated by WADA last year after the Russian agency served a suspension of nearly three years over evidence of mass doping in Russian athletics.

A report by Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren revealed doping and testing manipulation in Russia across many sports.

Last September, the WADA executive committee voted to reinstate RUSADA before it had fulfilled the requirements laid out in a “Roadmap to Compliance”, which included handing over the data from the Moscow lab.

Read more: Russia on top of WADA agenda but maybe not much longer

Read more: Doping - Seven more Russian weightlifters banned

The Kremlin said on Monday that Russia had three weeks to respond to concerns raised by WADA.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the Kremlin was aware of the issue, but that it was a matter for the country's sports authorities.

"We know that WADA has a series of questions," Peskov told reporters on a conference call. "A three-week deadline has been set to answer these questions, so we just need to wait for a three-week period."

WADA said the 47 cases currently being acted upon by international sport federations were not affected by the data inconsistencies.

Jonathan Taylor, chair of WADA’s Compliance Review Committee, presented the information to the executive committee in Tokyo on Monday.

Russian Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov said the ministry would cooperate with WADA in determining what was wrong with the data.

"We were told that the database submitted to WADA is slightly different that from the copy that WADA experts took in Moscow in 2019," Kolobkov said in a statement. "Experts in the field of digital technology from both sides will determine what these discrepancies are and what they are linked to.