“USADA acknowledges the devastating decision from the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in the Russia case that hands WADA and clean athletes a significant loss. At this stage in this sordid Russian state-sponsored doping affair, now spanning close to a decade, there is no consolation in this weak, watered-down outcome. To once again escape a meaningful consequence proportional to the crimes, much less a real ban, is a catastrophic blow to clean athletes, the integrity of sport, and the rule of law.
While the first instinct is to express obvious shock, the fact is we should have all seen this coming. WADA and the IOC have manipulated and mishandled this sordid Russian state-doping affair from day one and have put politics over principle once again. In addition to many other loopholes, this decision expressly gives IOC members from Russia special treatment and exempts them from any consequence for their bad acts that robbed sport and clean athletes.
For years, athletes have pleaded with WADA for reform and to hold Russia accountable for carrying out the most egregious doping fraud in the history of sport. Throughout the investigation and now with this weak outcome, it’s clear that WADA – even with new leadership and promises of change – has told athletes that it did not hear them and that they don’t matter. Russia has claimed victory today and, for them and their ability to corrupt global sport, deceive the world, and cheat the global anti-doping system, they are right.”
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