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Tygart maintains pressure on WADA in new video

In a Monday video message to athletes in its registered testing pool, which includes most (if not all) of the U.S. Olympic team, U.S. Anti-Doping Agency head Travis Tygart said he will continue to press for answers in the case of the 2021 Chinese swimming incident in which 23 athletes tested positive for trimetazidine.

The 4:45 video was mostly about the Chinese swimming case, but included a thanks to U.S. athletes at the end:

“You know, again, thank you for your efforts to be the very best you can be, the right way. Thank you for being the role models that you are, and supporting anti-doping, even when it’s sometimes difficult to do.

“And pleas enjoy the moment and best of luck to those who are going to Paris. We hope you can go, and win or lose, show that you’re doing it the right way and are the role models we all need and desperately want you to be.

“So thank you again for your commitment.”

Tygart pushed again against the World Anti-Doping Agency’s handling of the China swimming case, including:

● “We hear that the review that the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) did in the handling of the 23 Chinese positive swimming cases, that review that they did is supposed to come out tomorrow, or in the next day or two.”

● “And while we were ultimately glad that WADA was forced to have an independent review, we of course were disappointed that the very staff whose decisions in this process were at question, that they were the ones to set the terms of reference for this review.

“It seems, as the athletes indicated, more of a self-serving, check-the-box type of exercise. And we were also disappointed that the questions that WADA asked this reviewer were very limited ones, and very technical questions.

“There were just two questions and these questions really were set up, I think, to give an easy way to give the perception that WADA and CHINADA did everything that they should have done.”

● “Really the only question and what we pushed for was to ask, ‘Did WADA and CHINADA do everything they could have done under the rules to protect clean athletes’ rights?’ And, we now know that WADA has admitted that China and CHINADA did not follow the rules, that those cases, at a minimum, if it was due to contamination, should have been a violation, which means they should have been publicly announced, and that those athletes should have been disqualified. …

“And, you know, most importantly, if WADA continues to stand by these positive tests being due to contamination, the report from this independent person must show the data, not just the opinions of others, but show the data that was relied on by CHINADA and let the world see whether or not, based on the science, as WADA and CHINADA have claimed whether that is truly a case of contamination or something different.

“And up to now, despite asking for it repeatedly, we’ve seen no data that supports that this was contamination.”

Tygart, famous for persistence across years, added, “We will continue to push for the answers that we know you deserve, and athletes around the world deserve, and we’re hopeful to eventually get to the bottom of this.”