The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Monday gave Russia three weeks to explain “inconsistencies” in a cache of laboratory data handed over to investigators, raising the possibility of a fresh ban on the country in the build-up to the Tokyo Olympics.
Russia stands to be declared non-compliant by WADA if it fails to explain why evidence of some positive tests handed over by a whistleblower doesn’t show up in data provided by Moscow’s anti-doping laboratory in January.
If Russia challenges an eventual suspension by WADA the case will go to the Swiss-based Court of Arbitration for Sport, whose decision will be binding on sports bodies including the International Olympic Committee.
“Forensic experts have looked at what we got from whistleblowers, what we got from Russia and they noticed some inconsistencies,” WADA director general Olivier Niggli told AFP after an executive committee meeting in Tokyo.
“Then they studied the differences and this came to a situation where there are some questions that need to be asked and answered.”
WADA has previously warned that it would take the “most stringent sanctions” if any of the data was found to have been tampered with.