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WASHINGTON DC, UNITED STATES (DECEMBER 9, 2019) (REUTERS-ACCESS ALL)
1. (SOUNDBITE)(ENGLISH) TRAVIS TYGART SAYING
"Yes, unfortunately we know the same folks that pulled off the same state-sponsored doping program and robbed hundreds of athletes around the world. It's the same powers that be. They're behavior hasn't changed. It's only gotten emboldened and become more egregious every time the global anti-doping community attempts to put a sanction in place. The question is are we just going to stick our head in the sand and pretend this didn't occur and try to turn the page and unfortunately that's what the IOC and unfortunately they control WADA and that's what both these organizations have tried to do. Just put this in the rear view mirror and so it won't ever be held to account and that's a terrible outcome for athletes who got robbed and a terrible message to countries who might be tempted to do the same thing that the Russians did. Hey you get caught red handed pulling off the greatest fraud in Olympic history and nothing is going to happen to you and you'll still be able to send a full delegation of athletes to the Olympic games to continue to win medals. That's a system that simply can't survive."
STORY: Travis Tygart, head of the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) and long a vocal critic of WADA's handling of the Russian doping issue, blasted it for failing to impose a blanket ban on Monday (December 9). Russia was banned from the world's top sporting events for four years, including the next summer and winter Olympics and the 2022 soccer World Cup, for tampering with doping tests. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) executive committee acted after concluding that Moscow had planted fake evidence and deleted files linked to positive doping tests in laboratory data that could have helped identify drug cheats. WADA president Craig Reedie announced the punishment from Switzerland. The new sanction will continute to allow Russian athletes to compete under a neutral flag if they are not suspected of cheating and can prove it. Tygart feels that only a complete ban of Russian athletes from the Olympics and other international events will force the Russian sports establishment to permanently abandon state-sponsored doping. Russia has been embroiled in doping scandals since a 2015 report commissioned by WADA found evidence of mass doping in Russian athletics.
Earlier in the day, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev called the WADA decision to ban his country from major international sporting events 'anti-Russian hysteria', adding that respective institutions should concider filing an appeal against it.
(Production: Peter Bullock)