US-Russia clash at Olympic anti-doping meeting

US-Russia clash at Olympic anti-doping meeting
© Getty Images

The U.S. and Russia clashed at an Olympic anti-doping meeting in Poland Wednesday, The Associated Press reported.

U.S. and Russian officials spoke at a forum hosted by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) on the controversial debate about Russia’s state-backed doping system, which has recently threatened the country’s ability to participate in the 2020 Olympics, according to the AP. 

Travis Tygart from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency cited WADA-backed investigations that discovered the government-sponsored doping system, which intended to increase the chances of earning medals for the country.

“We cannot allow one country’s proven state-sponsored doping system to steal medals and glory from clean athletes,” Tygart said, according to the AP. “The Tokyo Games will be at least the fifth Olympic Games where state doping, and not clean athletes, are the issue.”

Russian sports minister Pavel Kolobkov spoke about how the Olympics are not within a political world, aligning with Russia’s consistent argument that Western countries have political interest in implementing sanctions against the country.

“We discharged all the obligations that depended on us,” Kolobkov said, according to the AP. “Throughout these years we have been in closer cooperation with WADA than ever before.”

Earlier this year, WADA learned that doping data from the Moscow testing laboratory had been tampered with, prompting a new investigation. Its results are expected to come out later this month, according to the news wire. WADA had previously worked out a deal with Russia allowing it reestablish the Russian anti-doping agency in a trade for the data. 

WADA’s ruling could be appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which could decide whether Russia will participate in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.