The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Executive Board will announce their decision regarding the compliance of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) on January 22, it was revealed today.
WADA issued an update on the timeline surrounding the process surrounding RUSADA, which have provoked heated debate over recent months.
The organisation revealed that the WADA Executive Committee would receive a recommendation from their Compliance Review Committee (CRC) no later than Thursday (January 17).
This would follow a two -ay meeting on Monday and Tuesday (January 14 and 15) in Montreal, where RUSADA’s status will be discussed.
An Executive Committee meeting on January 22 will follow, where a decision will be made.
"WADA ExCo to discuss Compliance Review Committee recommendation regarding RUSADA compliance status on 22 Jan via conference call," WADA said.
"ExCo members requested that time to review appropriately the CRC recommendation (which will be provided to them at the latest on 17 Jan) and to consult with their stakeholders.
"WADA will publicly communicate the ExCo decision on 22 Jan following the conference call."
A three-person WADA team has been working to retrieve crucial data from the Moscow Laboratory since Thursday (January 10), with "no issues" having been reported.
Russia's official state news agency TASS claimed yesterday the WADA experts, local officials and representatives of the Russian Investigative Committee and of the laboratory continued to work but the "end time is unknown".
Access to the facility has and the retrieval of data from the Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) have been viewed as crucial to help catch more cheats, following the exposure of alleged state sponsored doping in Russia.
(2/2) ExCo members requested that time to review appropriately the CRC recommendation (which will be provided to them at the latest on 17 Jan) and to consult with their stakeholders.— WADA (@wada_ama) January 12, 2019
WADA will publicly communicate the ExCo decision on 22 Jan following the conference call.
WADA had initially hoped to take control of the LIMS before a December 31 deadline, but a WADA's five-person team was blocked by the Russian authorities who claimed their equipment had not been certified under the country's law.
Access to the facility before December 31 was a compulsory condition set when the WADA Executive Committee controversially lifted the suspension of RUSADA on September 20 and with the deadline having now elapsed, calls have been made for them to be declared non-compliant again.
The smaller expert team returned to Moscow after as the Kremlin announced an "understanding" had been reached for them to access the Laboratory and data.
Sir Craig Reedie, the WADA President, has claimed that if the trip is successful "it will break a long impasse and will potentially lead to many cases being actioned".
He added, however, that the organisation is still working on the basis that the December 31 deadline was missed.
HSir Craig appeared to suggest RUSADA could still be declared non-compliant even if the data is acquired this time.
WADA are considering "all the consequences" that missing the deadline could bring, he said.
Critics have raised concerns that even if WADA do leave with the LIMS data this time around, it may have been tampered with by the Russian authorities.
Verification and a review of the data are set to take place over the coming months, with the identification and reanalysis of samples due to be completed by the end of June.
Following RUSADA’s missed deadline on December 31, there had been calls for calls for the CRC to meet sooner than January 14 and 15, with critics suggesting Russia have been handed a "two-week extension" in which to comply.
Those calls have been dismissed by the CRC's head Jonathan Taylor, though, who claimed that by following "due process" and giving Russia time to respond there will be less risk of legal challenges.