The likelihood of Russia facing "immediate measures" for reneging on a deal with the World Anti-Doping Agency increased on Friday when the International Olympic Committee's Athletes' Commission joined those demanding action.

WADA had hoped its controversial decision to reinstate the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) in September after nearly three years in the cold would draw a line under the Russian doping crisis.

But a key condition of that compromise agreement was that the Russian authorities would finally allow independent access to the Moscow laboratory at the centre of its state-run conspiracy to cheat.

The plan was for a small team of experts to visit the lab before 31 December 31 in order to extract its testing machines' raw data so that hundreds of potential anti-doping cases against Russian athletes could proceed.

But the experts were prevented from carrying out their work in the days before Christmas as the Russians claimed their equipment had not been certified, a move that immediately reopened the debate about the decision to reinstate RUSADA and raised serious questions about WADA's judgement.

Athletes' groups, clean-sport campaigners and several leading national anti-doping agencies have called for WADA to immediately declare Russia non-compliant and use its new powers to impose tough sporting sanctions on the world's largest country.

The Montreal-based agency, however, has said it will stick to the process agreed in September, which means the next step is for its Compliance Review Committee (CRC) to meet on 14-15 January.

If it recommends, as many believe it must, that Russia has not met the terms of the reinstatement deal, WADA's Executive Committee (ExCo) is expected to meet via teleconference soon after to decide if RUSADA should be suspended once more and Russia punished.

That would please the numerous athletes who have used social media and open letters to demand justice for Russia's flagrant cheating, although one of the most contentious elements of the crisis has been about who or what best represents the opinions of athletes.

The IOC believes its 20-strong athlete panel is the only global body with a democratic mandate to serve as the athletes' voice and it was conspicuous by its silence during the debate on RUSADA's reinstatement in September.

In fact, its vice-chair, Slovakian shooter Danka Bartekova, sits on WADA's ExCo and voted in favour of the reinstatement deal, contrary to the wishes of WADA's own athlete committee and those of several national anti-doping organisations and Olympic committees, including the the Olympic Federation of Ireland. 

But Russia's recent behaviour appears to have prompted a change of heart.

In a statement published on its website, the athletes' commission said it was "extremely disappointed and concerned" by Russia's failure to provide the required lab data.

It then explained why it had supported RUSADA's "provisional" reinstatement, saying it hoped it would mean Russian athletes could be tested more effectively and often, stronger sanctions would follow if Russia refused to cooperate and the agreement at least broke a deadlock that had been in place since November 2015.

But having asked "athletes for their patience and promised that we will advocate for strong actions" if Russia fails to hold its side of the bargain, the commission clearly feels Russia has had enough chances.

"We expect the CRC in its meeting of 14-15 January to make the appropriate recommendations to the WADA Executive Committee in the light of its decision of September 2018. These recommendations should lead to immediate measures and actions."

It added it would meet in Lausanne on 14 January to discuss the matter and would then hold conference calls with national athletes' commissions to update representatives on what it had decided.