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US government funding for World Anti-Doping Agency under threat unless it resolves current crisis

The US provides the single biggest slice of WADA’s annual budget. Credit: AP

Pressure on the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has increased again following an emergency summit at the White House in Washington DC, which concluded clean athletes are being failed and Russia has had it too easy.

The event, which was attended by Sports Ministers (including Britain’s Tracey Crouch), national anti-doping agencies and athletes too, heard how America’s patience with WADA is running out.

The US, which provides the single biggest slice of WADA’s annual budget, has concluded that without reform “nothing is off the table.”

That is shorthand for pulling funding from the beleaguered organization.

Travis Tygart, CEO of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, at the White House event. Credit: AP

Travis Tygart, head of US anti-doping told ITV News tonight the current athlete revolt against WADA’s leniency towards Russia is not only a crisis but a “tipping point.”

He said “WADA is totally out of touch” and while it had moved a little regarding reforming itself to be more independent, it was still a puppet of the International Olympic Committee with too few athletes represented on its decision making committees.

He added that the US government is again asking “is a return on our investment being fulfilled? If reform doesn’t happen is our investment worth it?”

Tygart intimated that the British government which also helps fund WADA is also considering the value of its contribution. “Business as usual is just not possible” he said.

In what is becoming an increasingly bitter stand-off, WADA tonight criticized the summit for being one-sided by not inviting anyone to give its side of the story.