Russia's anti-doping body RUSADA will decide on December 19 whether or not to appeal the decision of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to ban the country for four years from major competitions and the Olympic Games.
According to the sportsintegrityinitiative.com (SII), the Supervisory Board of RUSADA will meet next week to discuss an appeal which is likely to centre around the authenticity of the laboratory data provided to WADA by whistleblower Grigory Rodchenkov.
WADA used the copy of the laboratory information management system (LIMS) data provided by Rodchenkov in 2017 to compare against the one provided earlier this year under the terms of RUSADA's reinstatement and found numerous inconsistencies and evidence of manipulation of the data.
According to the SII, the Russian Minister of Sport Pavel Kolobkov argued against the validity of the data provided by Rodchenkov.
"One cannot compare with the Rodchenkov database because it is illegal – it is not known how it was obtained," Kolobkov said. "Can you imagine such developments in ordinary criminal or civil proceedings? A stolen database. Where does it come from? Unclear. Why is it used as a standard? Unclear.
"On this basis, the Russian Investigative Committee and our experts requested all the relevant information in order to submit a technical report on why they consider their database [the one retrieved by WADA in January 2019] as authentic. The answer was no."
If Russia appeal, WADA's ban on Russia hosting or competing as a country in major competitions as well as requirements for Russian athletes to prove their innocence before they are allowed to compete under a neutral flag could not go into effect until the CAS render a decision.
The case could last through the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games.