Wed, Dec 7, 2016 | updated 11:48 PM IST

US Anti-doping chief slams IOC for acting like `Keystone Cops`

Updated: Nov 23, 2016 15:20 IST

London [U.K], Nov.23 (ANI): Travis Tygart, CEO of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), has slammed the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for behaving like "Keystone Cops" before insisting that it is high time to take action to overhaul the global fight against doping in the wake of the Russian scandal.

Tygart, who this month met the heads of other national anti-doping organisations (NADOs) who unsuccessfully demanded for Russia to be banned from the Rio Olympics, called for a wholesale reform.

Calling for a change in the governance of the WADA, Tygart said clean athletes are getting frustrated by the ongoing doping chaos and, therefore, there was a need to protect their rights.

"The governance of WADA has to change and be made truly independent. We have to be cogniscent and honest about the tension between promoting and policing your sport. We have to remove the fox from guarding the henhouse. It can't police itself. At the end of the day, it's chaos, it's the Keystone Cops. Clean athletes are frustrated and they're upset. They see what's going on. They want their rights protected and they want a system that works," Tygat was quoted as saying by the Guardian.

Earlier in July,an investigation by Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren for the WADA revealed that Russia orchestrated state-sponsored doping scheme at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.

McLaren had stated in his report that Russia's secret service and top sporting authorities conspired to cover up widespread doping, substituting doping-tainted samples with clean ones during the Winter Games in Russia.

During that time, Tygart was outspoken in his calls for the IOC to issue a blanket ban on Russia from participating in the 2016 Olympics Games.

Although WADA backed the suggestion call, they eventually left the decision to individual federations amid confusion and chaos.

Tygart said the IOC' decision might have conveyed a wrong message to the world.

"That's always been our biggest worry - if you fail to put any consequence in place, which is what the IOC did, that sends a message that there are some that are too big to fail," he said.

The USADA chief said the credibility of both WADA and the IOC was further undermined by a damning independent observer's (IO) report on anti-doping operations in the Rio Olympic Games itself.

"Look at the Rio IO report - 4,000 athletes out of the 11,000 that were in Rio had no tests prior to the Rio Olympics? Our athletes are saying, what on earth is going on here? How is that possible? 1,900 of them in high-risk sports? No tests before getting to Rio? It's incredible," he said.

"It's unacceptable. For the IOC and Wada to come out and say the integrity of the Games was preserved - give me a break? Who are we kidding? The hypocrisy is what now has athletes so furious," he added.

Russian athletes were also suspended for an indefinite period last year after the WADA alleged state-sponsored doping in the sporting superpower, which involves destroying samples and intimidating laboratory staff. (ANI)