Commentary by Steven V. Selthoffer, Swimming World Chief European Columnist
MONTREAL, Canada, November 16. AS the air clears from the release of the Reasoned Decision by USADA on October 10 regarding the doping scheme in the U.S. Postal Service Pro Cycling Team Investigation, it's time to examine the fallout and ramifications of the dramatic events that have occurred in the past month.
The USADA report has made clear that the scope, doping supply chain, timeline and depth of the use and distribution of performance-enhancing drugs (PED) was far more extensive and sophisticated than many sport governing body officials in the IOC and Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) were willing to even contemplate or examine.
Having covered the anti-doping developments from ringside over the years, this is important for all athletes to know and understand. It's important to know as best as possible what was going on in other sports, particularly how WADA, the IOC and other sport federations were dealing with the fight against doping across the landscape, and also the building and development of the anti-doping programs around the world.
Fighting doping has been a war and a series of battles and fights in and outside the sports themselves.
Pound Censured by IOC Ethics Commission
Regarding Lance Armstrong, Richard W. Pound, founding President of WADA, as reported in ESPN Olympic Sports, Feb. 12, 2007, was “officially reprimanded” by the nine member IOC Ethics Commission “for comments that might have damaged the legendary cyclist's reputation.”
Pound allegedly stated that there is “now an onus on Lance Armstrong and the others to explain how it is EPO got into their systems.” Pound was reacting to a report in the French sports daily L'Equipe, ESPN reported.
That prompted a strong reaction from Armstrong, who submitted a letter on June 9, 2006, to IOC President Jacques Rogge.
In his own defense, Pound was quoted as saying, “I'm responsible to WADA, not the IOC. … Everything I've done has been in accordance with instructions or approval from WADA.”
However, with the release of the USADA report on the U.S. Postal Service cycling team and the extensive revelations of doping, Mr. Pound's previous comments were an understatement compared to the now public and/or private reactions of IOC members, sport federations chiefs and other officials around the globe which are … unprintable here.
Pound was fighting a global battle against doping on all fronts, fighting multiple doping supply chains across Europe and elsewhere that were funded inadvertently, from multibillion dollar corporations who were sponsoring the teams.
In contrast, Pound and the NADOs that were being established were understaffed, underfunded and handcuffed by the IOC politicos and others who were promising funding, but often failing to deliver, seriously affecting enforcement and anti-doping testing development.
Concerning WADA, one NADO CEO requesting anonymity stated, “Only Pound could have put it together. It couldn't have been done without him.”
The IOC Ethics Commission is made up of nine individuals who publicly censured Pound for his comments of doping on the U.S. Postal Service cycling team.
However, now in light of the USADA report, it clearly demonstrates that Mr. Pound was one of the few individuals whose assessment was accurate and possessed a genuine understanding of the situation.
The Reasoned Decision stands.
BOOM! KO. Ding. Ding. Ding.
Referee: “Ladies and gentlemen… By the score of: Mr. Pound 9, IOC Ethics Commission 0. Richard W. Pound is vindicated by a knockout.”