MOSCOW -- The World Anti-Doping Agency says its team is returning from Moscow empty-handed after Russian authorities prevented it from accessing key doping data held at a laboratory there.
WADA reinstated the suspended Russian Anti-Doping Agency in September on the condition Russian authorities hand over lab data, which could allow many past doping offenses to be prosecuted.
However, WADA says its delegation "was unable to complete its mission within the prescribed time" after Russia unexpectedly demanded its equipment was "certified under Russian law." WADA says the demand wasn't raised at earlier talks.
WADA says team leader Toni Pascual will now prepare a report on the failed mission, but the team could yet return by the Dec. 31 deadline if Russia resolves the issue.
WADA adds its team "stands ready to proceed with the full data extraction should the matter be resolved by Russia expeditiously."
Russian Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov told local media the WADA team would return, but there was no word on the date and no mention of the issue raised by WADA.
WADA has found extensive evidence that Russia routinely falsified drug-testing results, including at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, but must now hope authorities provide genuine data from past years. Russia must also submit athletes' stored samples for analysis by June 30.
WADA could suspend the Russian agency if the data isn't provided on time, which would make it harder for Russia to host major events. However, that would require a vote of the WADA board.