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article imageTygart attacks WADA over 'backroom' deal to reinstate Russia

By AFP     Oct 26, 2018 in Sports

US Anti-Doping Agency chief executive Travis Tygart told AFP on Friday that athletes had lost confidence in WADA following the decision to lift the ban on Russia's anti-doping agency.

The World Anti-Doping Agency reinstated Russia in September, paving the way for Russian athletes to return to competition across all sports.

Tygart attacked the move when it was first announced, and pulled no punches when repeating his condemnation of the global anti-doping body.

He suggested that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) was too close to WADA and that athletes' confidence in their system was now "in tatters".

"The process was a secret, backroom deal. The process itself stunk, and the decision itself too," Tygart told AFP.

"Athletes have lost confidence in the global regulator to make good decisions in an open, fair and transparent manner," he said.

"The practical effect (of allowing Russia back in) is nothing more than money being allowed to be spent for hosting events in Russia. The athletes, with exception on track and field athletes, have always been able to compete."

Tygart said Russia had effectively been let off the hook after being exposed for state-sponsored doping at the Sochi Games in 2014.

"We exposed a state system, they get caught with their hand in the cookie jar, but they basically got a 'get out of jail free' card.

"No meaningful sanctions were imposed on the state that perpetuated this system, and that is the part that athletes are having a problem with."

Tygart went on to explain how he would tackle the problem.

"You need to outsource your control system," he said.

"You cannot both promote and police sports.

"So long as there is an IOC former executive board member or an IOC member in charge at WADA, then no we don't have any confidence that good decisions are gonna be made," he said.

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