MOSCOW, November 17 (R-Sport) - The Moscow laboratory set to process drug tests at next year’s Winter Olympics in Sochi was sanctioned Sunday by the World Anti-Doping Agency but remains free to handle testing at the Games.
WADA cited the laboratory's "status of compliance" in the decision, without providing further details, and said the laboratory would be stripped of its accreditation if it did not start reforms within two weeks. WADA also warned the International Olympic Committee to consider separate action.
There have been reports that the laboratory’s director Grigory Rodchenkov was once arrested in connection with the supply of banned substances.
Moscow's Anti-Doping Center, which opened in August and handled drug testing for the world athletics championships that month, will lose its accreditation for six months if it does not hire independent experts approved by WADA by December 1.
These experts should then help it compose “a comprehensive quality management program” to be implemented by April 1. If both conditions are fulfilled, then the ban will not come into force.
"WADA strongly suggests that the IOC consider appropriate action (including the appointment of necessary experts) to ensure the complete integrity of all analysis performed by the Moscow Laboratory operating in Moscow and/or in the satellite facility in Sochi," the agency said in a website statement.
Current Olympic plans call for the Moscow laboratory to operate a facility in Sochi under its accreditation.
The decision may be appealed at the Court of Arbitration for Sport in the next 21 days.
In August, WADA suspended a Rio de Janeiro laboratory that was to handle testing for next year’s football World Cup. Samples from the tournament will be tested in Lausanne, Switzerland, instead.