FORMER WORLD Anti-Doping Agency President, Richard Pound expressed his approval at new International Olympic Commission (IOC) recommendations regarding dope testing, writes James Bourne.
In an engaging discussion at Play the Game world sport conference in Coventry, Pound spoke of “fighting words” that the Olympic Committee were displaying with their recent recommendations for member states; essentially, that any sport or country that did not comply with the world anti-doping code would be removed from the Olympic programme.
Pound said: “Those are fighting words and, I think, an example of what the IOC is in a position to do now; it has some economic credibility, as well as leadership credibility.”
Leading up to the Olympic Congress in Copenhagen this October, Pound also spoke at length about the major reforms brought about by the Commission and their effectiveness, as well as the effects of the Salt Lake City scandal, where it was alleged IOC members had taken bribes in order to ensure that Salt Lake City would host the 19th Winter Olympic Games in 1998.
He criticised certain aspects of the recommendations, most notably the representative membership of the IOC – whereby 45 members are chosen equally from international sports federations, Olympic committees and active athletes – stating that it was “problematic”.
“The entitlements that are created have separated IOC members into different classes,” Pound claimed. “I think it has an impact on whether the IOC is still able to act independently on all issues that come before it.”
The veteran IOC member spoke of “the need for renewal” regarding IOC presidential terms: “The limitation to an initial term of eight years plus one term of four years I think is a good idea. The pace of the world and the complexity of an organisation like the IOC has changed.”
Former IOC president, Juan Antonio Samaranch , held the position for 21 years until stepping down in 2001.
Pound also made clear his opinion regarding visits to Olympic candidate cities. The IOC has altered its stance over this issue, stating that “such visits are no longer necessary”. This policy, according to Pound, was “clearly one that was designed to make sure there was no repeat of the Salt Lake City scandal”.
However, he went on to forewarn how it is “equally clear that corruption does not equal physical visits to the candidate cities if the parties are determined to circumvent the rules”.