LOS ANGELES: US Anti-Doping Agency chief Travis Tygart urged the World Anti-Doping Agency to reinstate the ban on Russia, calling the country’s return to the sports fold “a total joke”.
“The situation is a total joke and an embarrassment for WADA and the global anti-doping system,” Tygart said in a statement on Tuesday, after Russia missed a December 31 deadline to hand over data from its anti-doping laboratory in Moscow.
The deadline was set in September, when WADA lifted a ban on the Russian Anti-Doping Agency, paving the way for Russian athletes to return to competition across all sports after a report which uncovered a state-sponsored doping programme in Russia.
“In September, WADA secretly moved the goal posts and reinstated Russia against the wishes of athletes, governments and the public,” Tygart said. “In doing this WADA guaranteed Russia would turn over the evidence of its state-supported doping scheme by today.
“No one is surprised this deadline was ignored and it’s time for WADA to stop being played by the Russians and immediately declare them non-compliant for failing yet again to meet the deadline.”
WADA personnel travelled to Russia in December but were unable to extract all of the promised data.
WADA said at the time its team could not complete its mission “due to an issue raised by the Russian authorities that the team’s equipment to be used for the data extraction was required to be certified under Russian law”.
With WADA waiting and the December 31 deadline looming, RUSADA chief Yury Ganus had asked Russian President Vladimir Putin to intervene to stave off another ban that put Russia “on the brink of the abyss”.
However, the Kremlin said RUSADA’s concerns bout new sanctions were “without foundation.”.—AFP