Inside the Games

United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) chief executive Travis Tygart has called for Russia to be “indefinitely” banned from all international sporting competition if doping allegations surrounding the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics are proven.

In a wide-ranging opinion piece published today in the New York Times, Tygart also called for all members of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Foundation Board to have no governing role within any sports organisation under WADA’s jurisdiction.

This follows the remarkable latest allegations made by Grigory Rodchenkov, the former director of the Moscow Laboratory who has since left Russia for Los Angeles.

He claimed that 15 home medal winners were implicated in an intrinsic doping programme in which anabolic steroids were mixed with alcohol, before urine samples were switched in a clandestine night-time operation.

An investigation has already been begun by WADA which is due to be completed by, at the latest, July 15.

Tygart describes the allegations, if proven, as a “violation of the very essence of sport” and “an assault on the fundamental values of the Olympic Movement”.

He calls for the All-Russia Athletic Federations suspension from the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) to remain in place for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

The remit of investigations should be extended to other sports, he claims, with an entire blanket ban for Russian athletes competing in all sports suggested as a possible punishment.

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