US anti-doping head says WADA handling of Russian lab a 'total joke'

Reuters
Moscow, Russia Updated: Jan 04, 2019, 10:00 AM(IST)

A woman walks into the head office of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

Tygart, in an interview with Reuters, said the situation is "a total joke" and is urging the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to hold an emergency meeting of their executive committee and declare Russia non-compliant.

United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) head Travis Tygart urged that immediate action be taken to address the refusal of Russian officials to grant their investigators access to a Moscow lab at the heart of the Sochi Olympics doping scandal.

Tygart, in an interview with Reuters, said the situation is "a total joke" and is urging the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to hold an emergency meeting of their executive committee and declare Russia non-compliant.

The designation would reverse a recent decision to allow Russian athletes to compete in international competition provided certain steps were taken, including access to the lab by December 31.

The WADA Athlete Committee said Wednesday that anything less than declaring Russia non-compliant would be a considered a failure now that a crucial deadline to hand over laboratory doping data has lapsed.

Russian authorities failed to provide access to the data and WADA's Compliance Review Committee (CRC) will now meet Jan. 14-15 to review the situation and make a recommendation to WADA's executive committee on how to proceed.

"I think athletes were hoping to wake up on New Year's Day excited about the opportunity to compete clean in 2019, a year out from the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games and unfortunately they are very disappointed," Tygart told Reuters.

Read in App