IOC Hits Back Against Criticism by US Anti-Doping Chief
The International Olympic Committee hit back Thursday at the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) after its chief accused the IOC of failing to hold Russia accountable for doping in sports.
In a rebuke directed at USADA CEO Travis Tygart, the IOC chastised the US over its struggles in tackling doping in its domestic leagues and for refusing to join the international fight against corruption in sport.
Tygart had in testimony to a US agency that looks at human rights in Europe said that in allowing Russian athletes to take part in the Rio and Pyeongchang Olympic games, the IOC “chose not to stand up for clean athletes and against institutionalized doping.”
“We very much appreciate and welcome moves in the United States to step up the fight against doping and we assume that the very worrying existing challenges with some of the professional leagues in the United States will be addressed as a matter of urgency — especially since this has become extremely obvious again in the last report of USADA,” an IOC spokesman said in a statement sent to AFP.
According to Tygart, the IOC had assembled clear evidence of state-sponsored doping in Russia but missed an opportunity to combat “culture of corruption through doping in global sport”.
“When the decisive moment arrived … the IOC failed to lead.”
Replying to the USADA critique, the IOC said it “would kindly invite the United States government to join ‘The International Partnership against Corruption in Sport,'” a global network formed to clean up sports governance, which includes most major sporting powers, except the US.