USADA CEO Travis Tygart Blasts WADA’s ‘Defense Tactics’ as It Threatens Legal Action

Travis Tygart

USADA CEO Travis Tygart Blasts WADA’s ‘Defense Tactics’ as It Threatens Legal Action

Following the revelation that 23 Chinese swimmers tested positive for trimetazidine (TMZ) months before the Tokyo Olympics but none were suspended and their test results never publicly disclosed, the CEO of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency has put the global organization responsible for conducting tests, WADA, on blast.

In a statement released Saturday, USADA’s Travis T. Tygart called the situation “disappointing to see WADA stoop to threats and scare tactics when confronted with a blatant violation of the rules governing anti-doping.” Tygart added that under normal procedures, athletes should have been disqualified and suspended provisionally, even if the results of their positive tests could be attributed to contamination.

Tygart added that USADA has previously called for changing rules around substances that can cause contamination of testing samples, but he added one sentence that “TMZ is not in that category,” hinting that Tygart does not believe the official story that the swimmers’ samples were tainted by food consumed at a training camp.

In this situation, WADA accepted CHINADA’s claim that the swimmers were not at fault. WADA had previously stated that the organization was not in a position to disprove the possibility that contamination was the source of TMZ and it was compatible with the analytical data in the file. WADA also concluded that, given the specific circumstances of the asserted contamination, the athletes would be held to have no fault or negligence.”

Tygart noted that in all potential contamination cases under USADA’s jurisdiction, the organization has followed very different procedures from the ones CHINADA and WADA employed here. “[I]n all contamination cases that we have proven, we provisionally suspended the athlete, disqualified the results, found a violation, and issued an announcement as required by the rules,” Tygart said. “Transparency is the key to shining the light in the darkness, and here, by not following the rules, WADA and CHINADA have left clean athletes in the dark.”

Following the issuance of Tygart’s statement, WADA fired back with a follow-up: “The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is astonished by the outrageous, completely false and defamatory remarks made by the CEO of the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), Travis Tygart, who has made very serious accusations against WADA in connection with the case of 23 swimmers from China that was reported upon by the media earlier today.”

WADA went on to call Tygart’s allegations “politically motivated and delivered with the intention of undermining WADA’s work to protect clean sport around the world.” WADA then defended the results of the investigation conducted in 2021 and claimed that Tygart’s allegations were not backed by evidence.

Finally, the statement concluded with one sentence in bold text that threatened a lawsuit: “It should be noted that following Mr. Tygart’s false allegations, WADA has no choice but to refer this matter to its legal counsel for further action.” It wasn’t the first threat of legal action by WADA on the weekend, with the organization also ending its original statement on the case with the proviso that, “Following the misleading information that has been published this week, including on social media, WADA reserves its right to take legal action as appropriate.”

Read the full statement from Tygart here, and check out WADA’s response here.

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1 month ago

The spineless bureaucrats running WADA are seriously deluded if they think they can successfully take on the U.S. legal establishment. Defamatory? Truth is a defense, and the facts as presented clearly acquit USADA and its CEO of any scintilla of wrongdoing. Conversely, WADA stands in clear violation of its own standards and principles. WADA has admitted that 23 Chinese swimmers tested positive for a banned substance, yet did not follow its own rules and protocols that required suspension. Not only is this a gross hypocrisy, it’s a reprehensible abdication of responsibility. If any legal action is to be taken it should be directed at the contemptible sloths currently leading WADA. Time to clean house.

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