18 April 2016

A Timeline: The Moscow Laboratory

On Friday the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) announced that it had revoked the accreditation of the Anti-Doping Centre Moscow, Russia (the Moscow Laboratory) due to non-compliance with the International Standard for Laboratories (ISL).

The allegations surrounding the laboratory’s conduct and practice have been around for a while – here is a comprehensive timeline of those allegations, and the corresponding investigations.



15 April 2016 – WADA revokes the accreditation of the Moscow Laboratory due to non-compliance with the ISL.

In a separate case, WADA suspends accreditation of the Laboratório de Análises de Dopagem (the Lisbon LAD) in Lisbon, Portugal, after it fails to meet ISL requirements.


4 April 2016 – The Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA) defends its decision to allow the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) to test samples from its Kazan 2015 World Championships (29 July – 4 Aug 2015) at the Moscow laboratory, despite it being under investigation by WADA.


18 Mar 2016 – A feature by The Sports Integrity Initiative suggests that RUSADA may have manipulated figures concerning the number of doping tests it conducted in 2009-2011.


29 Feb 2016 – UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) confirms that it has begun testing of Russian athletes under an agreement with the RUSADA and WADA.


20 Jan 2016 – WADA allows RUSADA to resume activities, but with athlete testing supervised by UKAD.


8 Dec 2015 – An internal audit by the Vaudois University hospital (CHUV) clears the Lausanne anti-doping laboratory (Lausanne LAD) in Switzerland of breaking any WADA rules by destroying samples sent to it from the Moscow Laboratory.


26 Nov 2015 – The International Ski Federation (FIS) suspends Grigory Rodchenkov, the former Director of the Moscow Laboratory, as an FIS Medical Committee member.


19 Nov 2015 – A Sports Integrity Initiative investigation raises questions about Lausanne LAD Director Martial Saugy’s links to Russia.


13 Nov 2015 – The Lausanne LAD defends the unauthorised destruction of samples from the Moscow Laboratory alleged by WADA.


13 Nov 2015 – WADA confirms that it has provisionally suspended the Moscow Laboratory and set up a disciplinary committee. The laboratory is the only WADA-accredited laboratory in Russia.


11 Nov 2015 – The Director of the Moscow Laboratory resigns. Grigory Rodchenkov was described in WADA’s Independent Commission Report as being ‘at the heart’ of the positive drug test cover- up.


10 Nov 2015 – WADA suspends the accreditation of the Moscow Laboratory.


9 Nov 2015 – WADA’s Independent Commission Report recommends that the Moscow Laboratory be provisionally suspended and that a disciplinary committee is set up.

Moscow Laboratory officials were found by the WADA report to have been responsible for the ‘malicious destruction’ of 1,417 samples, after receiving notification from WADA to preserve target samples.

The Commission also recommends that the director of the Moscow Laboratory be removed from his post immediately.

It also finds that the Lausanne LAD ‘acted contrary to specific instructions’ by destroying 67 Russian samples transferred from the Moscow Laboratory that WADA had instructed it to retain.


7 Aug 2015 – WADA’s Independent Commission announces that it is to extend its role by ‘urgently launching’ an investigation into widespread doping allegations against international athletics. The move follows the release of the documentary titled ‘Doping – Top Secret: The Shadowy World of Athletics’, which contained new allegations regarding widespread doping in international athletics. The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) is accused of failing to act on athlete data that suggested the widespread doping.


28 April 2015 – FINA announces that RUSADA would supervise all doping controls during that year’s FINA World Championships in Kazan. It also announces that samples are to be analysed at the Moscow Laboratory.


7 Jan 2015 – WADA publishes the Terms of Reference for its three-person Independent Commission. This includes establishing whether there has been any breach of the ISL by any accredited laboratory, including the Moscow Laboratory.


10 Dec 2014 – WADA announces that it will undertake a full investigation into German television documentary allegations of widespread doping in Russian athletics.


14 Nov 2013 – WADA discovers ‘problems’ with the Moscow Laboratory just months before the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics. A WADA investigation is launched.


6 July 2013The Daily Mail publishes an exposé alleging that Russian athletes are systematically doping with assistance from the Moscow Laboratory.

The investigation reports that Rodchenkov was arrested and questioned on suspicion of sourcing and selling banned drugs, but released without charge or public explanation and returned to running the lab.


Mar 2013 – The Lausanne LAD says that it advised WADA in writing that it had completed the destruction of 55 anti-doping samples.


Nov 2012 – Amid concerns about the integrity of the Moscow Laboratory, the Lausanne LAD is mandated by WADA to analyse 67 samples from the Moscow Laboratory. The LAD says that it reported the results of its analyses to WADA.


2010 – Vitaly Stepanov, a RUSADA employee married to Yulia Stepanova, a Russian 800m athlete, begins sending WADA evidence that he said showed the cheating was systemic in Russian athletics. Claims that RUSADA was enabling the cheating.


1 Aug 2008 – A track official anonymously tells The New York Times that the IAAF had grown suspicious of Russian drug testing results back in 2006.

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