No point in WADA looking into Salazar athletes: USADA’s Tygart

KATOWICE, Poland (Reuters) – Plans by the World Anti-doping Agency (WADA) to look into athletes who trained under banned coach Alberto Salazar will have no result as the U.S. Anti-doping Agency has already done that, USADA chief Travis Tygart said on Wednesday.

FILE PHOTO: Alberto Salazar, coach to Mo Farah of Great Britain and Galen Rupp of the U.S.A. sits inside the Bird’s Nest Stadium at the Wold Athletics Championships in Beijing, China, August 21, 2015. REUTERS/Phil Noble/File Photo

WADA chief Craig Reedie said this week the anti-doping body would begin its investigation on the athletes who are part of the Nike Oregon Project (NOP).

Salazar, who counts Britain’s Olympic and world champion Mo Farah among the top distance runners he has coached, was last month banned for four years by USADA for doping violations.

However, USADA did not sanction any of his athletes after finding no evidence of any wrongdoing by them.

“That was the first thing to come out of WADA after the USADA decision. I don’t know why they said that. It was surprising,” Tygart told Reuters on the sidelines of a world conference on doping in sport organized by WADA.

He said he had asked WADA to operate as observers in this case.

“What they (WADA) would have learned is that we left no stone unturned (in relation to any athletes),” he said. “Several athletes have asked us what it (WADA decision) means for them.

“I could not possibly say why WADA said that.”

Tygart has had an uneasy relationship with WADA in recent years and has remained critical of the body’s handling of a major Russian doping scandal.

American Salazar, who was a celebrated distance runner, winning three consecutive New York City marathons starting in 1980, has vowed to appeal his ban.

Nike has since shut down the famed program, with its stable of elite competitors who added to the company’s authority in the world of distance running, calling it a “distraction” for its athletes.

Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Christian Radnedge

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