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USADA CEO Message to Olympic Athletes on Paris Games and WADA Review of Chinese Positive Tests

USADA registered logo.Today, USADA published a message to all the athletes in its testing pools, including those going to the 2024 Paris Olympic Games in just a few weeks.

In the message, USADA CEO Travis T. Tygart thanked athletes for their ongoing commitment to clean sport and for enduring the inconveniences of the anti-doping program.

He also provided background on the anticipated WADA Cottier report expected tomorrow or in the coming days. He provided insight on why USADA, along with the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, Team USA Athletes’ Commission, USA Swimming Athletes’ Commission, and many National Anti-Doping Agencies, have pushed for a broader investigation into how the Chinese Anti-Doping Agency handled the 23 positive tests on its elite swimmers and how WADA allowed CHINADA to sweep these positives under the rug on the eve of the 2021 Olympic Games.

Tygart explained that, while USADA was glad that WADA was forced to do a review, we were disappointed that the very staff whose decisions were being reviewed were the ones who set the terms for the report, giving it the appearance of a self-serving, check-the-box exercise.

Additionally, Tygart pointed out that only two narrow and technical questions were assigned to the reviewer, Mr. Cottier, and not the question clean athletes really want answered, which is: Did CHINADA and WADA do everything they could have done under the rules to ensure clean athletes’ rights were upheld?

WADA has admitted now that CHINADA did not follow the rules and that these positive cases should have resulted in violations and those should have been publicly announced and the athletes disqualified.

So, while we have seen other whitewash reports in anti-doping and Olympic sport, and while we are skeptical, we want to remain hopeful that this report will confirm why CHINADA failed to follow the rules, as WADA has acknowledged, and why WADA allowed this to happen.

And most importantly, if WADA continues to stand by these positive tests being due to contamination, the Cottier report must show that this is not the opinion of WADA, Mr. Cottier, or any other paid WADA consultant, but is a finding based on actual scientific data that will be published and subjected to peer review.

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