The US Anti-Doping Agency says it is unlikely a federal court will overturn a law banning performance-enhancing drugs from professional sports, but the US government is preparing to do just that.
The US Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, said the US would bring an antitrust suit against the US Anti Doping Agency for “illegal” practices during the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
“The Department of Justice is prepared to bring a lawsuit against the United States Anti-doping Agency (USADA) and the United State Olympic Committee for their illegal and un-American conduct during the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games,” Sessions said in a statement on Tuesday.
The Attorney General also said that the US was also looking into the possibility of bringing a lawsuit for antitrust violations.
USADA is a federal agency created by the US Congress to investigate and enforce drug and alcohol abuse, including the use of performance-related drugs.
The agency was created by Congress to make sure that US athletes could compete safely and without compromising their health.
It has come under fire in the past for allegedly withholding information about athletes who have tested positive for banned substances.
US sports are a major source of income for the US Government and billions of dollars in sponsorship money are sent each year.
Sessions also said the federal government had launched an investigation into a number of alleged drug violations in the 2016 Olympics, including claims that USADA was “instructed by a number officials” to “fail to report positive drug testing”.
The US Olympic Committee has also been the subject of criticism in the wake of the doping scandal.
US athletes were barred from Rio for the entire 2016 Olympic campaign following allegations of an unfair and deceptive doping programme, which included the use and distribution of performance enhancing drugs including steroids.