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Anti-Doping Agency Cites Russian 'Non-Compliance' With Olympic Testing Procedures

Russian National Anti-Doping Agency head Yuri Ganus speaks to reporters in Moscow in January.
Pavel Golovkin
Russian National Anti-Doping Agency head Yuri Ganus speaks to reporters in Moscow in January.

Russia could find itself barred from the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games after international anti-doping regulators concluded that it has failed to comply with testing procedures by tampering with laboratory data and samples.

The World Anti-Doping Agency, or WADA, issued a statement late Friday, saying that it has sent a recommendation to its executive committee about Russian "non-compliance" with international testing standards. The executive committee is scheduled to meet on Dec. 9 to discuss the findings.

If the committee agrees Russia's anti-doping agency, RUSADA, is non-compliant, the country could be banned next year as it has been for the past two games. However, Russia could appeal a decision made by WADA to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

NPR's Tom Goldman reports that RUSADA was declared non-compliant before, touching off a long-running doping controversy:

"In 2015, the country's drug testing lab was closed amidst revelations about a widespread state-sponsored doping system. RUSADA was reinstated in 2018. It was required to turn over data and samples for further drug testing. Two months ago, WADA found evidence some of the data was manipulated."

At the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, 168 Russian athletes who passed anti-doping tests were not allowed to compete under the their country's flag, but rather a banner saying Olympic Athlete from Russia.

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Richard Gonzales is NPR's National Desk Correspondent based in San Francisco. Along with covering the daily news of region, Gonzales' reporting has included medical marijuana, gay marriage, drive-by shootings, Jerry Brown, Willie Brown, the U.S. Ninth Circuit, the California State Supreme Court and any other legal, political, or social development occurring in Northern California relevant to the rest of the country.

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