Russian lawmaker urges WADA to inspect reliability of containers for doping samples

Russian lawmaker urges WADA to inspect reliability of containers for doping samples

A member of the Russian State Duma Committee on Physical Culture, Sports, Tourism and Youth Affairs, Dmitry Svishchev, called on the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to hold extra examinations of containers used for collecting doping samples of athletes, a statement from the lawmaker’s press service said.

Last week a video footage was circulated on the Internet, showing Norwegian pole vaulter Sondre Guttormsen easily opening three sealed containers with doping samples. According to the video, he opened them in the presence of a doping control officer during an inspection and without using special equipment.

The Norwegian anti-doping body is using standard bottles produced by Swiss company Berlinger for storing collected doping samples, just like in the rest of the world.

"WADA needs to conduct urgently a set of additional examination tests of containers for storing collected doping samples and to ban the use of Berlinger’s new bottles, which, as it turned out, can be easily opened," Svishchev stated. "The fact that such things take place again speaks for the unreliability of these containers."

"Let us recall that exactly a year ago - in late January 2018 before the Olympic Games in PyeongChang - representatives of the IOC [the International Olympic Committee] and WADA stated an intention to hold a thorough investigation into the quality of containers. Even at the [2018] Games, as IOC representatives stated, containers of the previous generation were used, since numerous questions were on the table in regard to the new ones."

"A year has passed and what do we see? An athlete is easily opening all three containers," Svishchev said. "It casts a shadow on the efficiency of work of the whole global system on the fight against doping."

A delegation of WADA experts is currently in Moscow, where they work to retrieve data from the Moscow Anti-Doping Laboratory.