November 15 - Moscow's anti-doping laboratory will find out tomorrow if it will be suspended less than three months before Sochi is due to host the 2014 Winter Olympics and Paralympics, it has been revealed here today.
The pledge came from John Fahey, President of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), following a Disciplinary Committee that met here and made a series of recommendations.
"There is still a process to be undertaken."
But Dick Pound, founding President of WADA and now chairman of the Disciplinary Committee, claimed that the Moscow laboratory should be suspended because it is not "sufficiently reliable".
"The Disciplinary Commission has made a recommendation to John Fahey as chair of WADA and he has to decide whether he accepts that or not," added the Canadian.
WADA's Board today approved new, stringent rules against cheaters, which include a four-year ban for intentional first-time offenders.
But, if Moscow loses its WADA-accreditation, it cannot test athletes' urine and blood samples for banned substances during Sochi 2014, which is due to take from February 7 to 23.
That will follow WADA's suspension of the anti-doping laboratory in August, which will force football's world governing to fly samples to Lausanne during next year's FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
The issue is set to be the first major problem that Sir Craig Reedie will have to face when he takes over from Fahey on January 1 following his unanimous election here today.
Last December the sister of the director of the Moscow laboratory, Grigory Rodchenkov, was convicted for buying and possessing banned drugs, with the intention of supplying them to athletes.
Marina Rodchenkov, a member of the Soviet Union team that won the gold medals at the 1988 International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Country Championships in Auckland, was given an 18 month suspended sentence after being found guilty in involvement of selling "'illicit or poisonous substances".
Among those drugs that Rodchenkov was allegedly trying to sell to athletes was testosterone, oxandrolone and methandienone - all banned by WADA.
Grigory Rodchenkov,54 was himself questioned over the affair but was never charged and was allowed to return to his position in charge of the laboratory, whose full title is The Russian Federal State Unitary Enterprise Anti-Doping Centre, following two months in hospital after reportedly suffering a breakdown.
Earlier this year Russian athletics coach Oleg Popov wrote to WADA and Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko alleging athletes were forced to pay 50,000 roubles to be part of a doping programme and that their samples were substituted at the laboratory in Moscow for clean ones to ensure they avoided detection.
Lada Chernova, a javelin thrower Popov used to coach and who was banned for life on the eve of Beijing 2008, had her ban overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) allegedly because of the mistakes made by the laboratory in Moscow included false paperwork.
Earlier this year the Moscow laboratory analysed 538 urine samples, reporting seven positive tests, during the IAAF World Championships in Moscow, where Russia finished top overall of the medals with with a total of 17, including seven gold.
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