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Tygart critical of Spanish flip-flop on Contador

By:
Cycling News
Published:
March 19, 2011, 10:39 GMT,
Updated:
March 19, 2011, 10:39 GMT
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News, Saturday, March 19, 2011

Says authorities must not be afraid to bring down heroes

Anti-doping authorities must not be afraid of “bringing down our heroes,” Travis Tygart, CEO of the US Anti-Doping Agency said.  He also criticised the Spanish federation's “flip-flop” on the Alberto Contador Clenbuterol case.

The Federation initially recommended a one-year ban. Before the decision became final, Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said that that there was “no legal reason” to sanction him.  The Federation ultimately cleared Contador of the doping charges.

“If there are questions about whether the outcome is fair and just based on the rules and particular facts they should appeal that to the supreme court of sport,” Tygart said in an interview with the Associated Press. “WADA plays the great equalizer to ensure justice is even and in line with the facts and the rules around the world.”

“Clearly what has been reported was a flip-flop—there was a one-year agreement (ban) and then there were statements from the prime minister … and then there is a zero sanction,” Tygart said.   “I don’t know what the right outcome is, I haven’t seen the evidence, but from a perception standpoint, something is not right there.

“Something should be looked into, and it looks (like) it is right at the heart of the lack of independence when you have a national federation … which might not have the expertise, which might not have the funding, which has to go after and prosecute a national hero who just won the biggest cycling event in the world. That is not an easy thing to do for anyone.”

“It’s a tough world we live in bringing down our heroes,” Tygart said. “But if our heroes need to be brought down because they cheated then that’s what all athletes expect us to need to do and we need to have a strong resolve to do that sometimes.”

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