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Russian anti-doping group seeks Putin’s help to release data

MOSCOW — The head of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency has asked President Vladimir Putin for help in getting key doping data released to World Anti-Doping Agency inspectors.

WADA reinstated the suspended RUSADA in September on the condition Russian authorities hand over lab data, which could help confirm violations uncovered during an investigation that revealed a state-sponsored doping program designed to win medals at the 2014 Olympics and other major events.

WADA officials said this month they left Moscow empty-handed after Russian authorities prevented them from accessing data. Russian Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov, however, told local media the WADA team would return.

In an emotionally charged letter released on Thursday, RUSADA chief Yuri Ganus appealed to Putin to reverse the decision and allow the data to be given to WADA inspectors. Ganus warned that refusal to do so would hurt Russia’s efforts to clean up its sports from doping.

“We’re standing on the edge of the abyss, and I’m asking you to protect the present and the future of our clean sports, the current and future generations of athletes,” Ganus said in the letter.

Ganus did not name the specific officials who are standing in the way of the transfer of data but Russian authorities have unexpectedly demanded its equipment be certified under Russian law. WADA said it had not been aware of that demand. The deadline to turn over the data is Dec. 31.

Russian International Olympic Committee member Yelena Isinbayeva earlier on Thursday said the situation with the transfer of data is “close to critical” and called on the officials to comply with the WADA requirements.

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