Tygart accuses Bach of “throwing in the towel” on doping and says RUSADA reinstatement would be “devastating blow”

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From Inside the Games

Travis Tygart, the chief executive of the United States Anti-Doping Agency, has accused International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach of “throwing in the towel” after he conceded that sport’s battle against drugs cannot be won.

The German told CNN Switzerland earlier this month that “doping will always happen”.

“This is one of the wars you cannot win,” he added.

Tygart criticised this stance and said it was comparable to Olympic athletes not trying in their events.

“It’s obviously a tough fight but the leader of sport can’t simply throw in the towel,” said Tygart to CNN World Sport.

“Can you imagine if Michael Phelps or Usain Bolt walked into an Olympic final and said ‘I can’t win this?’

“It’s not the focus, it’s not the determination and it’s not the commitment that clean athletes expect and deserve.”

Tygart also warned against the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Executive Committee reinstating Russia at a key meeting in the Seychelles on September 20.

The Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) has been non-compliant with WADA since 2015 when allegations of state sponsored doping in the country first emerged.

Russia has since been accused of the systematic manipulation of the doping system at their home Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, with the IOC forcing them to compete under a neutral flag at Pyeongchang 2018 in February.

The country remains suspended by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), but the IOC’s ban on the Russian Olympic Committee was lifted immediately after Pyeongchang.

Figures from within sport are keen to allow Russia back into the fold despite two outstanding criteria on WADA’s roadmap for RUSADA’s re-acceptance not being met.

These are an acceptance of the McLaren Report, which outlined much of the evidence against Russia, and full access to the Moscow Laboratory.

No side has backed down so far with the situation in a state of deadlock.

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