LOS ANGELES, USA – The US Olympic Committee issued a measured response on Monday, July 25 (Tuesday, July 26 in Manila) to the International Olympic Committee’s controversial decision to leave international sports federations to decide which athletes from doping-tainted Russia can compete at the Rio Games.
The IOC on Sunday declined to impose a blanket ban on Russian competitors after a World Anti-Doping Agency probe found evidence of a wide-ranging state-run drugs cheating system.
“We acknowledge the validity of the IOC’s concerns regarding individual justice,” USOC chief executive Scott Blackmun said. “We also believe, however, that the concept of individual justice must be applied for the benefit of the athletes who compete against state-sponsored doping systems.
“If the international federations enforce the conditions established by the IOC, and if the IOC takes responsibility for ensuring that they do, then we will have taken an important step in the right direction.
“The credibility of the Olympic Movement has been placed in their hands, and we are hopeful that they will execute their responsibilities in a way that demonstrates the values on which the Olympic Movement is based.”
While the European Olympic Committees group and the Association of National Olympic Committees voiced support for the IOC action, reaction from other quarters has been harshly critical.
US Anti-Doping Agency chief Travis Tygart reiterated his objections on Monday in an ESPN interview, saying he had been forced into the position of telling clean athletes “the system let you down.”
“The Olympic flame burns less bright today,” Tygart said.
Blackmun said the USOC remained in support of an overhaul of the global anti-doping system.
“As we have stated previously, the current system is flawed and in urgent need of reform,” he said. “We are firmly committed to that process and to supporting a level playing field for every athlete.” – Rappler.com
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