Pavel Kolobkov said the Moscow Laboratory was ready for another WADA visit ©Getty Images

The Moscow Laboratory is ready for another inspection visit from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), Russia's Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov said today.

It comes after a five-member party from WADA left the country empty-handed last week after attempting to recover key data from the facility.

Access to the building before December 31 was a compulsory condition set when WADA's Executive Committee controversially lifted the suspension of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) on September 20.

WADA had been hoping to take control of the pivotal Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) stored there but it was announced on Friday (December 22) that Russian authorities had blocked them as their equipment "had not been certified under the country's law".

The decision to prevent the team, which was headed by independent expert Dr. José Antonio Pascual, from completing its work has been widely condemned and RUSADA now face suspension again.

WADA did announce that they would be prepared to return to Moscow if the matter was solved "expeditiously" and Kolobkov appears to have suggested that the equipment issue has been addressed.

"Everything necessary in line with our requirements and tasks has been provided to them," he said to Russia's state news agency TASS.

"We are now waiting for their response. 

"I do not know [when] and not ready to announce it."

The Moscow Laboratory is a key location in the Russian drugs crisis with WADA hoping to use the LIMS data to snare more drugs cheats.

Even if the facility was opened before the December 31 deadline, some have argued that any evidence inside may have been destroyed or tampered with.

RUSADA's three-year suspension began in November 2015 following allegations of state-sponsored doping in Russian athletics.

Revelations of more widespread cheating at events including the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi then emerged and the International Olympic Committee forced Russia to compete under a neutral flag at Pyeongchang 2018 in February.

This ban was swiftly lifted just days after the Winter Games in South Korea, although Russia remain banned by the International Association of Athletics Federations and the International Paralympic Committee.

The World Anti-Doping Agency were blocked from completing their work in Moscow last week ©Getty Images
The World Anti-Doping Agency were blocked from completing their work in Moscow last week ©Getty Images

WADA's Executive Committee voted 9-2 in favour of lifting RUSADA's ban in the Seychelles in September but the move was greeted by a backlash from various athletes and officials.

The reinstatement came despite Russia not meeting two key re-compliance criteria - admission of the McLaren Report which outlined much of the doping evidence against them - and access to the Moscow Laboratory.

In response WADA insisted that the move broke a period of deadlock and that RUSADA would simply be banned again if the laboratory was not opened.

They said the information collected there would allow the possibility of catching more cheats while potentially exonerating other athletes.

WADA had already obtained some information from the LIMS database which was shared with sporting bodies.

This was achieved via a whistleblower, however, rather than through any assistance from Russia.

The organisation will now be under huge pressure to ban RUSADA again with the equipment issue reportedly not addressed at a pre-inspection meeting in Moscow in November.

Not being able to access the laboratory would be seen by some as proof that the "gamble" to lift RUSADA's suspension in exchange for the data has not worked. 

A further period of non-compliance would also threaten Russia's ability to stage sporting events.

RUSADA director general Yury Ganus said the December 31 deadline being missed could be "devastating" for Russian sport. 

insidethegames has asked WADA if they will be returning to Moscow.