To think Russia will change is 'foolishness' says Tygart

RESENDING WITH COMPLETE SHOT LIST AND SCRIPT

VIDEO SHOWS: INTERVIEW WITH TRAVIS TYGART, HEAD OF THE U.S. ANTI DOPING AGENCY. B-ROLL OF TYGART

SHOWS:

LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND (FILE - MARCH 13, 2019) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)

1. VARIOUS OF TRAVIS TYGART BEING INTERVIEWED

UNKNOWN LOCATION, COLORADO, UNITED STATES (DECEMBER 17, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)

2. (SOUNDBITE) (English) HEAD OF U.S. ANTI DOPING AGENCY, TRAVIS TYGART, SAYING:

"This is just one other dark outcome in a long 10-plus-year effort for the Russians to corrupt sport to cover it up into essentially get away with it. And let's not forget this slap on the wrist, a light slap on the wrist, was exactly what happened in Pyeongchang and that was a charade and it was unfair to the athletes who were there competing when the Olympic athletes from Russia competed in their colours with their flag, in the stands, unofficially couldn't be on the podium. However that didn't change the behaviour, because it was after Pyeongchang when the Russians destroyed the evidence that they were required to hand over to WADA, did not allow WADA to prosecute the athletes who were involved with the state-sponsored scheme. So, it hasn't worked and for us to think that this rebranding of Russia is going to work now is just simply foolishness."

LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND (FILE - MARCH 13, 2019) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)

3. TRAVIS TYGART BEING INTERVIEWED

UNKNOWN LOCATION, COLORADO, UNITED STATES (DECEMBER 17, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)

4. (SOUNDBITE) (English) HEAD OF U.S. ANTI DOPING AGENCY, TRAVIS TYGART, SAYING ON WHETHER RUSSIANS HAVE CHANGED:

"So it's, I think it's impossible to say and all indications will be that no, the behaviour hasn't changed and certainly no penalty has been put in place and allowed that behaviour to change. We also know very outspoken and apparently assumably independent CEO of RUSADA, the Russian anti doping agency, was recently fired and the independent expert that was appointed by WADA resigned over the firing. So that also leads to tons of questions on what's really going on over there. And do we have proof that the testing is happening, and happening in a way that's legitimate? And those are just unanswered questions, and unfortunately I think all the evidence points to no, nothing has changed and we have to wonder why nothing has changed. It is because there's been no consequence and if you get caught red-handed robbing the world and Olympic sport, and no consequence happens, well do you think that's going to change your behaviour? Again we would be forced to think that's going to change behaviour."

LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND (FILE - MARCH 13, 2019) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)

5. TRAVIS TYGART BEING INTERVIEWED

UNKNOWN LOCATION, COLORADO, UNITED STATES (DECEMBER 17, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)

6. (SOUNDBITE) (English) HEAD OF US ANTI DOPING AGENCY TRAVIS TYGART SAYING WHETHER HAVING PUNISHMENT CUT ENCOURAGES PEOPLE TO CHEAT:

"I think it not only encourages them but it incentiveses others who may be thinking about it as well. Because if the way you win an Olympic sport is to run state sponsored doping schemes, and you get away with it, and even when you get caught you get away with it, that becomes the new rules of the game. And that's why it's so important for those of us who actually believe in the power of clean sport and the ideals behind clean sport, that every kid dreaming out there doesn't want to ever have to go on the world stage and dope in order to be successful, that we have to stand for these principles, and we have to put in meaningful consequences that are going to send up strong deterrent to states and others who may be tempted to do this. That when you -- it's not worth the risk and when you get caught you're going to be firmly punished in line, fairly and appropriately, and in proportion to what the rules call for. The rules allowed for a complete ban for four years. That's what the rules -- that's what the world has said is an appropriate sanction for egregious behaviour."

LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND (FILE - MARCH 13, 2019) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)

7. TRAVIS TYGART BEING INTERVIEWED

UNKNOWN LOCATION, COLORADO, UNITED STATES (DECEMBER 17, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)

8. (SOUNDBITE) (English) HEAD OF US ANTI DOPING AGENCY TRAVIS TYGART SAYING ON WHY HE FEELS THE IOC AND WADA HAVE NOT BEEN STRONG ENOUGH:

"It's just, it's political influence and profits you know. Russia is a major player on the on the world scene. They're hosting events. They want to bid for future Olympic Games. They have events happening all the time in their country and putting a lot of money, and very powerful organisation. And I think unfortunately, the sports politicians bow to the profits and the influence and we're unwilling to stand on principle even though it was clearly the right thing to do in the most egregious doping situation we've ever seen over a tremendous period time going on over a decade now."

LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND (FILE - MARCH 13, 2019) (REUTERS PICTURES - ACCESS ALL) (MUTE)

9. STILL PHOTOGRAPH OF TRAVIS TYGART

UNKNOWN LOCATION, COLORADO, UNITED STATES (DECEMBER 17, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)

10. (SOUNDBITE) (English) HEAD OF US ANTI DOPING AGENCY TRAVIS TYGART SAYING ON WHETHER HE WANTS TO QUIT:

"The sun will come out tomorrow and it's a new day for us to continue the reform effort. It's too important to give up on, and listen, I have to have that conversation with athletes all the time who want to throw in the towel and quit their sport or are significantly tempted to join the cheaters because they know in certain areas that's the only way you can compete. But that's never the outcome. The choice is always to stand up and hope for a better day and the sun is going to come up tomorrow and we're going to continue."

LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND (MARCH 13, 2019) (REUTERS PICTURES - ACCESS ALL) (MUTE)

11. STILL PHOTOGRAPH OF TRAVIS TYGART

STORY: Russian athletes will be barred from competing at major international events, including the Olympics, under the country's flag until 2022 after a Swiss court on Thursday (December 17) upheld doping sanctions but halved the original four-year ban.

However the ruling was immediately criticised by Travis Tygart, the head of the U.S. Anti Doping Agency, who said Russia had 'robbed' clean athletes and escaped any meaningful punishment.

The ban leaves Russian athletes without their flag and national anthem at next year's Tokyo Olympics, the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics and at the 2022 soccer World Cup in Qatar, a severe blow to Russian sport which has been tarnished in recent years by a string of doping scandals.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) had originally banned Russia from the world's top sporting events for four years in December 2019, but the sanctions could not be implemented until the end of the appeal process.

The Lausanne-based Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) said the sanctions, which also bar Russia from hosting or bidding for major sporting events, would come into force on Thursday and end on Dec. 16, 2022.

"This sends a clear message that institutionalized cheating and concerted efforts to subvert the global anti-doping system will not be tolerated."

Tygart, CEO of the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), called the ruling a "weak, watered-down outcome."

"This is just one other dark outcome in a long 10 plus year effort for the Russians to corrupt sport to cover it up into essentially get away with it," he told Reuters Television via Zoom.

(Production: Iain Axon)