COLORADO SPRINGS: Travis Tygart, ceo of the United States Anti-Doping Agency, has deplored both the overall decision of the IOC executive board to keep Russia in the Olympics and the specific refusal to allow Yulia Stepanova to compete writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
Stepanova and her husband provided crucial evidence to German investigative reporter Hajo Seppelt for his original revelatory programme and the world athletics federation (IAAF) had appeared to endorse her right to the ‘reward’ of being able to run in Rio de Janeiro next month.
However the IOC board ruled that she had been part of the problem rather than the solution and no exception could be made.
Tygart said: “The decision to refuse her entry into to the Games is incomprehensible and will undoubtedly deter whistleblowers in the future from coming forward.”
USADA was already on record as wanting a blanket ban on Russia to send out an anti-doping message to all of world sport.
On the general issue, Tygart added: “Many, including clean athletes and whistleblowers, have demonstrated courage and strength in confronting a culture of state-supported doping and corruption within Russia.
“Disappointingly, however, in response to the most important moment for clean athletes and the integrity of the Olympic Games, the IOC has refused to take decisive leadership.
“The decision regarding Russian participation and the confusing mess left in its wake is a blow to the rights of clean athletes.
“The IOC has stated before they believe anti-doping should be wholly independent and that is, in part, why it is so frustrating that in this incredibly important moment, they would pass the baton to sports federations who may lack the adequate expertise or collective will to appropriately address the situation within the short window prior to the Games.
“The conflict of interest is glaring.”