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.
WADA would not elaborate on what safety concerns they have but they were enough to trigger a change in plans.
The CRC on Monday was preparing a report, with input from a WADA inspection team that last month was denied access to the Moscow data, and would present its recommendations to the executive board by Jan. 17 as planned.
If the inspection team, however, completed its work before Jan. 22, the CRC indicated it was prepared to rewrite it, taking into account any new information.
By the time the CRC left WADA headquarters on Tuesday it had been decided they would not make any recommendations until the inspection team had completed its job and left Russia.
“The CRC is going to prepare an ongoing document and they will have to get this final information to conclude it,” said Niggli.
“But it is not going to take them very long once we have told them the guys (inspection team) are finished and then we want the executive to have a little bit of time to consider it but I think one day difference is not a big deal.
“All I can say now is that the mission is going in the right direction.”
Editing by Greg Stutchbury