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WADA suspends Moscow anti-doping lab

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The Moscow testing centre’s suspension was one of the key recommendations contained in Monday’s damning report from WADA’s independent commission chaired by Dick Pound (AFP Photo/)

CANADA, November 10 -The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) on Tuesday acted quickly in suspending the Moscow laboratory in the first concrete response to the doping and corruption scandal engulfing athletics.

The testing centre’s suspension, dismissed as “utter nonsense” in Moscow, was one of the key recommendations contained in Monday’s damning report from WADA’s independent commission chaired by Dick Pound.

A WADA statement announced: “The suspension, which takes effect immediately, prohibits the Moscow Antidoping Center from carrying out any WADA-related anti-doping activities including all analyses of urine and blood samples.”

The laboratory has 21 days to appeal the sanction to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Pound’s report revealed that the laboratory’s director had ordered close to 1,500 samples to be deliberately destroyed.

WADA said it will set up a disciplinary committee to review the case and review the centre’s accreditation status.

“In the meantime, all samples for the Moscow Antidoping Center will now be transported securely, promptly and with a demonstrable chain of custody to an alternative WADA-accredited laboratory,” WADA said.

Russian anti-doping agency (RUSADA) director Nikita Kamayev confirmed that the Moscow laboratory had stopped work.

Kamayev dismissed WADA claims that there was a second laboratory working in Moscow and that FSB security service agents oversaw doping.

He insisted that the agency worked “in full compliance” with WADA guidelines and said it would be sending its response to the accusations by November 18.

“This is pure and utter nonsense. Some people are stuck in the epoch of James Bond,” Kamayev told a press conference.

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