WADA maintains RUSADA compliance

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The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) executive committee has ruled that The Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) will remain compliant providing it continues to make progress with the criteria set out upon its reinstatement.

RUSADA missed a December 31 deadline to allow WADA inspectors to retrieve data from a Moscow laboratory, which was one of the criteria set out when the body was reinstated as compliant with WADA's code last September.

Lab data was later handed over to WADA inspectors, which has been deemed enough by the body not to impose a fresh ban. 

RUSADA could still find itself ruled non-compliant if any of the data is found to have been tampered with, WADA added in a news release.

WADA reached its decision after endorsing a recommendation made by the independent Compliance Review Committee (CRC), which was considered by the ExCo on Tuesday.

"Today, the ExCo was pleased to hear of the significant progress that has been made in resolving the Russian doping matter since its decision in September last year to reinstate RUSADA under strict conditions," WADA president Craig Reedie said. 

"Collecting the all-important data is a critical step, and it was not easy to achieve. We are not yet at the finishing line and there is a lot more to do but undeniably we are much further along the track than we would have been without the September ExCo decision.

"We are now proceeding to the second phase of that decision, namely authenticating the data retrieved from the former Moscow Laboratory so that ultimately we can use them to catch more athletes who cheated and to exonerate others. 

"We will not be deterred from this mission, which we firmly believe is in the best interests of clean sport and of athletes worldwide.

"Several members of the ExCo voiced their disappointment that the deadline had been missed but agreed that no sanction in that regard should be imposed. 

"Above all, we want to ensure that those who cheated are held to account. That is what the September ExCo decision was all about, and I hope athletes and others see that we are making good progress in that regard."

RUSADA was suspended in November 2015 in the wake of accusations of state-sponsored doping made in the McLaren report, claims that have been consistently denied.

The decision to lift the ban last September drew widespread criticism. 

The statement added that WADA vice-president Linda Helleland "noted for the record that she maintained her position from September that RUSADA should have been asserted as non-compliant until the process was complete".