The World Anti-Doping Agency has obtained new data that includes the results of more than a thousand Russian athletes in the past two decades, multiple news outlets have reported.
This could be the final and most pivotal link to the investigation about the state-sponsored doping scheme that Russia allegedly has been a part of for years, affecting several Olympics.
WADA said in a news release on Friday that its investigations department was in possession of an electronic file that it believed to contain “all testing data” from January 2012 to August 2015. It could affect the status of Russia’s part in the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics and perhaps longer.
Grigory Rodchenkov, the former director of the lab in Moscow, came forward with information about the state-run system in 2016, which ran in the New York Times.
That prompted an investigation, led by Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren.
“WADA continues to stand firmly behind the outcomes of the Agency’s independent McLaren Investigation,” WADA president Craig Reedie said in a statement. “This new intelligence serves to reinforce our requirement of Russian authorities that they too publicly accept the outcomes; so that, we can all move forward in rebuilding public trust and confidence in Russian sport.”
The New York Times reported the investigation deconstructed Russia’s cheating schemes and determined that more than 1,000 athletes had been apart of them for more than three and a half years. Still, officials determined that many individual cases would be hard or impossible to prosecute, in part because of Russia’s lack of cooperation in providing certain evidence, including stored urine samples and the electronic lab records on past tests, the Times reported.
WADA has ordered Russia to share the data before it would agree to restore Russia to good standing and certify its compliance with the global anti-doping code, the Times reported. WADA is scheduled to evaluate Russia’s cooperation and decide the nation’s Olympic fate at a meeting next week in Seoul.
The New York Times and WADA contributed to this report.