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Moscow Lab Reacts To Reports of Possible Suspension

By Alexey Sukachev

As previously reported by BoxingScene.com, Moscow's anti-doping lab is facing a potential temporary suspension from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) due to “not being fully reliable." The news was first reported by the BBC from Johannesburg, RSA, where the current WADA conference is taking place, and then the information became widespread around international media.

The Russian party, however, has denounced those accusations, stating that no decision has been taken yet by WADA, while defending their own standpoint.

“Lots of things have been reported; a number of words have been said. However, we have not yet received any official document from WADA in a written form. There is a lot of opinion on the subject. I too have an opinion. But let’s wait until the conference in Johannesburg is over," said Grigory Rodchenkov, the head of the Moscow anti-doping laboratory, to ITAR-TASS media agency.

More concrete was an unnamed and undisclosed source in the Russian Ministry of sports.

“Our license has not been taken away, contrary to some reports. This info, released by a number of (mostly) foreign sources, is not correct. We have received WADA’s decision and there is nothing stated in any part of it regarding a possible suspension."

“We have entirely changed our approach to the laboratory: we have built a new building and filled it with the most modern scientific and analytical equipment, fully compliant to the rules and regulations of WADA”, said the source.

“We have been closely working with WADA over the last few years, and progress is evident. Moreover, what we are specifically proud of is the fact that that last year WADA confirmed that Russia is fully compliant with the Codex of WADA. We have changed Russian legislation. We allowed foreign ant-doping officers to take probes with them into foreign laboratories”.

In the meantime, the unnamed source confirmed that there are a number of additional suggestions and requests on behalf of WADA to improve the working process in the Moscow laboratory but they are all of working order.

“We are working with WADA continuously, thus certain issues, suggestions and questions are a part of our workflow. We are looking carefully at them, trying to implement new WADA standards and suggestions as fast as possible”.

The Moscow lab was the first source to confirm a presence of banned substances in Guillermo Jones’ analyses after his memorable fight with Denis Lebedev in May....the result being then confirmed by independent sources. It was also a subject of heated discussions between Team Povetkin and Team Klitschko before their fight in October.

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