7th March 2019
Following January’s mission, which saw a three-person World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) expert team successfully retrievethe analytical data generated by the former Moscow Laboratory in Russia, WADA is pleased to provide an update on progress made so far during the data authentication stage of the process.
The lengthy process of uploading approximately 24 terabytes of information, forensically indexing it and pairing it to the various instruments, servers, hard drives, computers and other electronic equipment from the laboratory is complete*. WADA’s experts, with the support of external forensic experts, will now be able to start assessing the data in more detail to ensure it is complete and authentic. As previously indicated, the entire uploading and authentication process is estimated to take two-three months to complete.
WADA Director of Intelligence and Investigations Gunter Younger, who is leading the process, said: “This is a huge undertaking involving more than 1.5 million files, but we continue to make good progress. Essentially, what we have done is to re-create the Moscow Laboratory in a virtual sense, allowing us to pair the various data with their respective instruments so that we can ensure what we have is complete, accurate and has not been tampered with.”
The data are crucial to build strong cases against cheats and exonerate other athletes suspected of having participated in widespread doping on the basis of previous WADA-commissioned investigations led by Richard Pound and Prof. Richard McLaren.
Gunter Younger added: “Although this is a massive challenge, we are confident we will be able to tell if anything is missing or not as it should be. Once we are satisfied that the data are authentic, we will be in a position to proceed to the next phase and support the various sports and other anti-doping organizations to bring cases against those who cheated.”
The successful data retrieval came about as a result of the 20 September 2018 decision of WADA’s Executive Committee to reinstate RUSADA, under strict conditions, to the list of World Anti-Doping Code-compliant Signatories. Under the terms of that decision, the Russian authorities were required to provide the data while also agreeing that any samples required by WADA for re-analysis would be made available by 30 June 2019**.
*24 terabytes are equivalent to more than 400,000 hours of music or the space available on about 5,200 DVDs.
**WADA has produced a flowchart that summarizes the three phases of the RUSADA Compliance Process and has compiled a document that summarizes the "Progress of the Anti-Doping System in Light of the Russian Doping Crisis".