White House deputy "drug czar" Scott Burns has blasted US sports leagues for failing to adopt World Anti-Doping Agency standards and indicated their leaders were enablers for dope cheats.
Burns, the US government representative to last week's Madrid WADA meeting, picked apart the National Basketball Association, National Football League, National Hockey League and Major League Baseball excuses for ignoring WADA.
"They don't want to sign on because it's tough and it's specific and there are consequences and it will be monitored and cheaters will be caught and exposed," Burns told reporters in a teleconference call.
WADA adopted a new anti-doping code last week that football world governing body FIFA ratified, Burns noted, dismissing US league notions that athletes need more protection and low overturn rates of WADA bans made them less valid.
"That's a tribute to WADA," Burns said. "That's a way to avoid. It's an excuse by the leagues not to participate. It's good enough for FIFA. It is good enough for sports all over the world but not our professional leagues."
"Just about everybody else in the world has (WADA-level programmes). I don't know if they have ever sat down with the government on that, but we've got a long way to go."
US sport commissioners have argued to US lawmakers everything from WADA's banned substance list not working for their leagues to non-US officials having power over US teams and even WADA policy violating US legal appeal due process.