Too late for Russia to be ready for Rio: Tygart

Thu Jan 14, 2016 3:32pm EST
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Gene Cherry

(Reuters) - Russia's track and field athletes should not be allowed to compete in the this year's Rio Olympics as the country cannot prove it is compliant with the doping rules, America's top anti-doping official said on Thursday.

Travis Tygart, chief executive for the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, told Reuters he was particularly concerned about rushing to clear Russia's track and field federation for the Aug. 5-21 Rio Olympics.

"It's too late to ensure that those in this state supported doping program are not receiving a benefit from that program," Tygart told Reuters in a telephone interview.

"Where we are right now. Them still denying, them still attacking the whistleblowers and the truth, with no lab, with no testing a few months before the Games, it's impossible to correct."

The Russian federation was temporarily suspended by athletics' governing body in November after the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) independent commission detailed state-supported doping.

An IAAF task force spent part of this week in Moscow working with Russian officials to find solutions to Russia's doping problems, and the task force's leader said the country was making efforts to reform.

But Tygart said things cannot be corrected in time for Rio.

"Even if you hold all those involved accountable, it is impossible to correct the situation to ensure those in the state-supported doping program are not going to violate the rights of the clean athletes," said Tygart.   Continued...

Travis Tygart, chief executive officer of the United States Anti-Doping Agency, speaks during Anti-Doping Intelligence and Investigation Seminar in Singapore February 11, 2015. REUTERS/Edgar Su