BACK STORY with DANA LEWIS

Doping in Sport / Richard Pound

February 09, 2021 Dana Lewis Season 3 Episode 9
BACK STORY with DANA LEWIS
Doping in Sport / Richard Pound
Chapters
BACK STORY with DANA LEWIS
Doping in Sport / Richard Pound
Feb 09, 2021 Season 3 Episode 9
Dana Lewis

On this Back Story the history of The Olympic Movements attempt to tackle drugs in sport, which led to the establishment of the World Anti Doping Authority, set up by Canadian Richard Pound.  

Pound has just retired after decades of fighting the wide spread cheating in cycling, track and field, weight lifting, and in many other sports, not only at the Olympic level but across all sports and throughout nations around the world. 

In conversation with Back Story's Dana Lewis, Pound talks about Russia's ban from the Olympics, cycling scandals, challenges with The U.S. threat to remove funding from WADA and he calls The U.S. potentially a rogue state.

Pound also is critical of the call to boycott China's winter Olympics saying it only penalizes other athletes from other countries.

Show Notes Transcript

On this Back Story the history of The Olympic Movements attempt to tackle drugs in sport, which led to the establishment of the World Anti Doping Authority, set up by Canadian Richard Pound.  

Pound has just retired after decades of fighting the wide spread cheating in cycling, track and field, weight lifting, and in many other sports, not only at the Olympic level but across all sports and throughout nations around the world. 

In conversation with Back Story's Dana Lewis, Pound talks about Russia's ban from the Olympics, cycling scandals, challenges with The U.S. threat to remove funding from WADA and he calls The U.S. potentially a rogue state.

Pound also is critical of the call to boycott China's winter Olympics saying it only penalizes other athletes from other countries.

Speaker 1:

I have let them down. I have met my country down and I have let myself down. Did you ever take banned substances to enhance your cycling performance? Yes. Yes or no. Was one of those banned substances EPO? Yes. Did you ever blood dope or use blood transfusions to enhance your cycling performance? Yes.

Speaker 2:

Hi everyone. And welcome to backstory. I'm Dana Lewis. Oh , how the mighty have fallen. The first one you heard was American track and field star Marion Jones who won three gold medals and two bronze medals at the 2000 summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia, but was later stripped of her metals after admitting to steroid use. And she lied to investigators. So it was jailed for six months. Some never admitted like seven time winner of the tour de France. Lance Armstrong. He denied doping for years was finally cornered with undeniable evidence in came clean, but not before he attacked the world. Anti-doping authority, chief Richard pound saying lbs allegations of doping in cycling and against him was just the latest in a long history of ethical transgressions and violations of athletes rights by Mr palette . But Armstrong was proven to be a cheater and lbs . Integrity is an official determined to root out. Cheating grew in stature. Now I covered five Olympics, four different news organizations, and along with the glory of victory and the flag waving and gold medals , where the scandals that every games in the scandals in between the games as athletes were spot checked and found to be cheating with performance enhancing drugs and always in the background, driving the movement to clean up sport was Canadian. Richard pound on this backstory, we hear from the man who first drove the drug cleanup effort in the international Olympic committee, and then formed and guided the world. Anti-doping authority that governed sports around the world to make cheaters pay. And most importantly, most importantly, protect the athletes who want to compete clean. Richard pound has just retired. All right , Richard William Dunkin pound is a Canadian swimming champion, a lawyer, a prominent spokesman for ethics in sport. And he was the first president of the world anti-doping authority and vice-president of the IOC, the international Olympic committee. And he joins us from Montreal. Hi Richard. All right , today, I'm good. I'm very, I'm very happy to see you. I haven't seen you in person, I think since 2008 and the Beijing Olympics, but we've

Speaker 3:

Talked since then on some of the scandals in sport, there've been many

Speaker 4:

I'm afraid . So in 2005,

Speaker 3:

I didn't realize that time magazine named you. One of the world's 100 most influential people and they wrote pound . It's an appropriate surname for the head of the world anti-doping agency. Then again. So it would be harass , rebuke, schooled, and generally makes a pain in the of himself. Although the latter would look awkward on a business card. What was that flattery? Were you happy to get that?

Speaker 4:

Oh, well, you know, time magazine has its style. Why

Speaker 3:

Do people cheat? That's the first question I want to ask

Speaker 4:

You. They want to win and they don't really care how they win. And they don't realize that when they cheat, they don't really win. But , uh , anyway, it's , uh , it seems to be a feature of the human psyche.

Speaker 3:

I mean, you were a great sports and are a great sports enthusiast. You were a competitor. And then suddenly you found yourself being channeled towards policing doping in sport. Is that a turn you want it to take?

Speaker 4:

Well, it's certainly one that I never anticipated. And , and when it, when it happened , uh, I remember as the world anti-doping agency was being created , uh, the IOC president of the day said , uh, Leeson , Deek , uh, you must be the president of this. And I said, but wait, I don't know anything about doping. I I'm , you know, I've spent all my time in the IOC doing television negotiations and the marketing program. And I said, beside , for which I'm half dead from the salt Lake city investigation . And he said he was unmoved. So I finally said , all right , well, how about if the dealers , when it's up and running in a year or so? I can get a yes, yes, yes. What year was that? They lie. It took me nine years to get it . Yeah .

Speaker 3:

So that was one Antonio Samaranch right, right. I mean, you were for , I mean, it's worth mentioning that you were the first guy to negotiate television rights with the, the IOC and the , and the networks, which you became billions and billions of dollars. Uh, you probably had no idea what you were getting into then , but you certainly had no idea what you're getting into when it came to doping in sport. And why did you do that? I mean, why did you pursue and continue on, because there must have been many moments where people came to you and said, you're selling the name of this athlete, your dragging down track and field or cycling or whatever the sport scandal of the day was.

Speaker 4:

I guess , to some degree, it probably goes back to being a competitor. And I mean, as a competitor, I never liked to lose. Sometimes you, you, you make, I was a sprinter. So if you make any kind of mistake, you're toast , uh , you got to get everything right. And , um , sometimes, you know , and prepared well enough and whatever it may be , you could live with that. Didn't like it that you try to learn from, from losing, but I never liked being cheated. And I don't, I don't think that that's a, an additional risk that that athletes should have to take. So one of , one of the deals in sport is , is you don't take certain substances. Uh, you don't use certain techniques. That's part of the rules. And, and if you cheat that that's not good. So I was always, I think the calculus seemed to me fairly easy either you follow the rules or you didn't. And if you didn't, I mean, there are all kinds of rationalizations, you know, Oh, I'm just trying to level the playing field because there are other people that are cheating and so forth and say, no, no, you're not. You're actually, you're actually trying to win. And if you find out that I'm taking five milligrams of whatever, this prohibited substances, you don't take five. You don't want to tie with me, you're going to take 10 because you want to win. And I find that you're taking 10. So I take 20 and this sort of escalates to the point where the dosages become toxic or , or either lethal. So there's a health issue in it. And then there's the , the ethical issue, which is that you promised to follow the rules that we all agreed on, and you just made a unilateral decision , um, to breach them that that's not right. And you should, there should be consequences to that.

Speaker 3:

How much blame do you put on the people around them, the coaches, the people who are promoting sport for money?

Speaker 4:

I think a lot that , you know, far more than half the, the blame goes there. I mean, some of the athletes that aren't even of full age when they're, when they're put on these programs, I mean, if you remember that the East German programs back in the sixties and seventies, it was the things they were doing to these young athletes, particularly female athletes, because the steroids were much more effective on them than they were on the men. It would make your , if you were an ethicist, it would make your hair stand on end. Yeah.

Speaker 3:

And that's the era you grew up in because when you were competing , uh , the East Germans, that program, and then the Soviet program was finally at its height , uh , without talking about Sochi yet.

Speaker 4:

Well, it actually, when I was in the Olympics in 1960, there were no rules, no sport rules. There may have been, you know, general principles of law with respect to certain drugs, but I mean, not anabolic steroids or things like that. Uh, so, you know, in, in Rome we knew that the weightlifters had been doing this for years. So we knew that , that it had spread to the, the, the weight of events in track and field, like ShotPut discus and so forth, and everyone was very open about it. And they said, what are you taking? And how much of this? Oh, well, you know, is it , you know, what does it just say , look at me, I'm, I, my figures have changed from sort of just sort of beefy guys to athletes who are re cut and say , look at me. I met my body shape has changed. I'm covered with acne. And I'm dealing with terminal rage all the time. And my testicles are the size of jelly beans, but can I ever throw the shot much better than I used to instead of 60 feet, I'm throwing at 70,

Speaker 3:

The cliche, those big Hungarian shot putters or a weightlifter .

Speaker 4:

Yeah. Not just Hungarian , but there were a lot of them. And, and , and so , uh, what happened and the startup we're getting to where we are today is, is during the cycling road race in Rome, those same games , uh, Danny cyclist died in part because of taking a whole bunch of that amines and the , the old guys on the IOC, they were army guys in those days said, Oh, you know , you're not supposed to come to the Olympics and die because the drugs supposed to come and have fun. So I formed a medical commission with a , uh , a doping and biochemistry sub commission. And , and the subcommittee was sent , figured out what the athletes are taking. And then , you know, which, which things in particular , uh, are dangerous as well as performance enhancing. And then let's put together a list. So they , they put together a list. And , um, you know, in fairly short order, given an international context and the IOC started testing at the Olympics in 1968 in Grenache and have tested it ever since. And that was the only testing that was really being done at the time. And the international federations filled with their own organizational testosterone. Don't where w w during our events, we'll do the testing. They didn't do any, but the IOC was not allowed to test other than during the Olympic games. And it took years and years and years for the IOC pushing and pushing and pushing to get international federations to do testing, which they did reluctantly. Um, but only at the world championships, you had this system where, you know, for three years and 11 months out of every four years, the only testing really being done was by the IOC at the games. And it's fine, race , state drugs. You can, you can detect, but if you've been on a steroid program and you you're smart enough to get off it, couple of months before the Olympics, all the metabolites are out of your system, but you've got the benefit of a steroid program. And so the next step was to get out of competition testing out of competition,

Speaker 3:

Testing at random testing during the year,

Speaker 4:

Or even targeted, you know, the , the , the cyclist who's coming 310 , the Peleton who cares, but what you , what you were finding was that it was, it was the best athletes that were those at the highest target ,

Speaker 3:

Sorry to interrupt. Then what , how did that morph then from the IOC doing the testing during the games, and then out of, out of the games, when people were training during the year world competition, how did that morph that into the world anti-doping authority, which became very independent of the Olympic movement. I mean, you're part of it in terms of the testing, administering the testing, but in terms of the water became very independent and legally independent. Correct.

Speaker 4:

Right. And that was the whole, the whole purpose of it, because what gave rise to the immediate cause was the Festina scandal during the tour de France in 1998, while in France, there were French laws about possession of some of these things on the French police found athletes and officials on the Festina team with industrial quantities of doping substances and the equipment to administer it and so on. And they were arrested , um , and put in jail. And that was a suddenly, you know, if it, if it doesn't happen in Europe, in a very Eurocentric Olympic movement , it doesn't really happen. So that's why the Ben Johnson thing, 10 years earlier in Seoul , it will, I was on the edge of the world somewhere. And it wasn't real because it was a , you know , a, it wasn't a European, it was in Korea,

Speaker 3:

Ben Johnson, Canadian sprinter who tested positive at the school

Speaker 4:

And Ben Johnson. Yeah. Oh, no , no . Sorry . I was a little naive on that. I thought, well, maybe the message will get out to people around the world that, you know, at the Olympic games, no matter who you are, no matter what extraordinary performance you've put in, even if you're in the number one sport in the Olympics, if you cheat, you you'll, you'll be disqualified as a deterrent. I thought that was going to work. So it wasn't to say until you get to Europe in a , in a sport really popular in Europe and the blue ribbon event in that sport, the tour de France, that all of a sudden, some of these presidents said, Ooh , if it can happen to cycling and it's number one event , it might happen to my sport . So they started to think of it that, and the IOC executive board , I was on the executive board. At that point, we had kind of an emergency meeting because unfortunately our president made a , one of these things that come back to bite you, he's sitting in his hotel room in Lozan watching the arrests and stuff of the Festina officials, team members. And he sort of shook his head. He says , you know, for me, that's not doping. Doping is only if you can prove that it's dangerous to the health of an athlete. Wow . Who was that? This was sandwich . That was summer. And, and so , uh, w which is a perfectly defensible philosophical position, if you like, other than it was 180 degrees from what he'd been saying as president of the IOC, and he's forgotten that he's got a Spanish journalist in his room, who's been given this rare opportunity to spend a day with one Samaranch and see how he runs the world of sport. And he can't believe for these hearings. He's taking notes. There were no, no strictures on him . Then in the next day, the LPs are 11 Guardia headline, IOC , IOC president, not serious about doping, that sort of thing. It was a media firestorm, which led to an emergency meeting of the IOC executive board. So where we get to Lausanne . And so he says, well, what are we going to do? And we're all looking at each other saying, we, we were here because what you did anyway, he already knew that. So our conclusion was, look , you can't depend on cycling or, or, or any other sport to make sure its athletes are clean. You can't depend on France or Germany or Canada to make sure its athletes are clean. And the IOC itself is too weak to control the Olympic movement. So , uh, what, what do we need that that's, that's the diagnosis, the pregnant, we need an independent international anti-doping organization that is not controlled by any particular stakeholder. And I said, well, you know, as, as it happens, we have kind of a model that could be adapted , uh , for such an organization, which is the court of arbitration for sport, which the IOC had created. I think back in 1984, and it was made up of equal representation from IOC international sports, federations, national Olympic committees, and Olympic athletes said , no , that's not going to be enough here because we need the world of doping is a little more specialized. But if we added two blocks to that one being governments, and they said, why governments? Well, you know , in sport, we know who the athletes are. We know what they're likely to be taking. We know who the bad coaches and so on are , we don't want any power to Andrew premises and sees evidence of , of doping . We don't have the power to compel somebody to give evidence under oath. Governments have those kind of powers . Okay . And then I said, we need a six block. We need a major event organizer. We need somebody with coaching experience. We need to get somebody from the pharma industry to be , to help us with the, you know, the technical stuff. So that resonated. And they said, all right, well, let's see if we can do something. And we have to have , uh , uh , we need a world conference on doping because we got to get all of these stakeholders to come together and agree that an independent anti-doping organization is the thing to do. And so we called for , uh , the first conference in, I think it was late January of the following year, 1999. And we're proceeding towards this first world conference in . And of course, then, then the do-do hit the fan, the salt Lake city kind of improper conduct a investigation, which was another firestorm. And I remember San Francisco, maybe we shouldn't have this conference right now in the middle of all this. And I said , look , we'll, we'll get out of salt Lake somehow, but doping is too important. We've got it . We've got to get hold of this because there's a certain momentum right now. Okay. So anyway, sure enough,

Speaker 3:

They had, they had to be seen to be acting right.

Speaker 4:

[inaudible] yeah. Yeah. Well, if you're going to assert yourself to be the leader of the Olympic movement, you've got to, from time to time, you got to lead, not just follow up . And so sure enough, if you had 15 minutes to speak at this conference, the first five were spent telling the IOC what a dreadful organization it was and how the sooner it would vanish from the face of the earth, the better everything would be. But then they got down to focusing on this and, and , uh , from out of this conference came a resolution that we establish what has now become what , and , um, and that's when, you know , Samaranch , you , you must be the president of this. And we get to the first conference , uh , which I'm sharing . Cause I'm now the president of water. We get this, this consensus , uh , with some difficulty because the governments through a complete collective tantrum and they said, you know , we're going to, this is outrageous. We're going to leave. We're , we're leaving the conference. If we don't have more than 50% of the control in the hands of governments, we're out of here. And I said, hold on , let's have a coffee break. I went to Sam ranch said , uh , they don't like my, my Mo my organic gram , um, told you we should never have had this conference. I said, no, actually their idea is better than mine. He said, what do you mean? He said, well, listen, if they have 50%, because they're not going to get more than 50%, give them 50% control. They're actually going to have to do something, not just sit on the side and carpet, the sports movement. And secondly, if they have 50% of the control, they can well pay 50% of the costs go back and talk to them. So I'm looking back to this room, seizing with 35 or 40 sports ministers. I say , you don't like my model. No , you hate it. You really insist on 50%. Yes. I said, you've got it. You got it .

Speaker 3:

You own it. You own it now. And you're in the soup with us. Right?

Speaker 4:

You got it. And I said , no , it's a much better idea. I said , there are only , only two things. This is a serious problem. We don't have the luxury of you guys proceeding at your normal glacial pace to get anything done. We've got to be in the field January 1st of 2000 to start testing before then go to the Sydney games. Okay . And I must say to give credit where credit is due, they got it done by November. I said, the second thing is, if you got 50% of the control, you've got to absorb 50 of the costs. Oh, well, you've never seen such hand-wringing your life , all these governments arguing, but their share of what would have been $4 million. We are our governments, but the other one , 150 governments at the time. And I said, come on. And they said, well, why ? And I said, I'll tell you what, we'll pay them . We, the ISA will pay the first two years, but you buy the start a year three, you've got, you've got to find a way to pay your share . And again, I must say, give credit where credit is due by 2000, 2001, they had a continental formula.

Speaker 3:

This is really clear for people to understand. I mean, the court of arbitration of sport became the judge and the jury and WADA, the world anti-doping authority was really the prosecutor, the organization that went and investigated and collected forensic sampling and presented it to the court. Is that right?

Speaker 4:

Partly this is pretty primitive at this stage. So again, I'll give you an example. We got this setup and where we start early 2000 to do other competition testing only on the summer sports. Cause we were focusing on, on Sydney and we found that an overwhelming percentage of the international sports federations did not even have rules that allowed them to test their athletes out of a competition, a bombshell for me. And I suddenly, I was very naive. I thought they, all the things they were saying were true, you know, that they believe in , in clean sport and all that sort of stuff done. They just total lip service. So we spent the first number of months helping them put in place rules that allowed them to do the out of competition testing. That that's , that was the state of, of things. According to arbitration for sport cast was never part of water . It simply was the, the recourse that was available. If somebody did not think he or she should have been handed consequences for doping and you, so you could file an appeal. And that was decided on, on legal grounds.

Speaker 3:

So now there's a controversy with funding, right? Because the United States, as I understand it has, they've been harsh critics of WADA. And what has been harsh critic of the Americans arguing that what they should not sign up to funding water anymore, or where, what is the main crux of the argument?

Speaker 4:

The main crux is, is , um , the United States suddenly deciding that that all of the problems in the world are waters , not their own. And , um , part of the foreign policy on the previous administration was, you know , it was okay to do an indoor hammer throw whenever you didn't like what was going on. And so one of the things they said, well, we're not going to pay our agreed upon share of the water costs . And we submit to you , you can't do that. They said, yes, we can. And if you criticize it, we will regard that as a direct attack on the United States of America, it doesn't really follow because you've just made an unprovoked attack on water by refusing to pay your share of , uh, of , uh, the money you promise to pay. This was something you agreed to as,

Speaker 3:

What is the point of control Dick ? Like what do they want to control?

Speaker 4:

Uh , it's not really clear what they want. That's part of the problem. They just say what it needs to be reformed. Okay. How do you want it to reform? Well, you've got to have different governance. Okay. Um , what are your suggestions? They don't have any , you gotta have more athletes on what we've already got athletes on water. They have the same representation that the 50 or 60 international sports federations have, and that the now 206 national Olympic committees have , uh , it would not be fair to have any more. So you already left,

Speaker 3:

You were quoted as saying, we'll have to wait and see, but at some point, if the U S becomes a rogue state, I think we will start looking at whether the games in Los Angeles should proceed. Um, if they are not performing their obligations under the convention. And they're trying to destabilize not only the structure, but funding of water, that's not acceptable behavior. And maybe the IOC, as I understand, you went on to see maybe the ILC system America, they can't compete. They become a rogue .

Speaker 4:

Part of the deal in, in, in, in sort of within the Olympic movement is , is you have to be compliant with the world anti-doping code. One of the measures you would have to attract attention would be to make failure, to pay your share of the agreed upon costs, the equivalent of an anti-doping rule violation. And if you have an anti-doping rule violation, you're no longer eligible to participate in international sport, not just, not just the Olympic games. So that , they're the way that, you know , the Russia will be unable to participate as Russia for the next couple of years. So that's one of the things you can do. What I hope is that this, this rogue state mentality fades into the background, which is where, you know, part of the deal was that it was like a United nations in one country. One vote us says, no, no, no, we're paying we're paying far more than, than 80 years. So we should have more votes, but that's , that's not the deal. Well, that's , uh , that's the condition. We have this NATO to tell you the truth. Well, it , it , uh, it does. It's been , uh, it's been festering for a while . We think a lot of it emanates from the United States and he'd opened agency Russia.

Speaker 3:

Yeah . I mean, people don't realize that in 2014, Russia ran a state sponsored doping operation where essentially they were preparing cocktails, giving them to smuggling urine out of back door of the facility where these urine samples were supposed to be held secure. So there you have a state that is supposed to be helping water, make sure its athletes are clean. Um , and they're just completely upending the entire, the entire regime of anti-doping. I mean, and , and it goes on, right? I mean, they are still banned because even after there were whistleblowers, after the revelations were made as to what they were doing with the FSB, the security services that were helping them, they were then supposed to come clean on sampling. And then they didn't do that either. So they are perpetually banned ,

Speaker 4:

Well , not perpetually, but, but certainly they're there as a national anti-doping organization is their , their lab has been suspended. It's an evolving story here, but , uh, and until 2015, all our stakeholders international federations, the IOC, everybody, they did not give water the power to conduct investigations. We could rely on other investigations. We couldn't conduct our own. Think about that. There are a lot of folks didn't want an independent international anti-doping agency looking over their shoulder in , in many sports were very cozy arrangements regarding dumping. So the first one regarding Russia came , uh , uh , about, as a result of the , the step on offs , expos a on German television, it at the end of 2014. So the

Speaker 3:

Fled to the United States later on, and, and w one of them was a coach and one of them was , uh, an athlete and they, they laid out exactly what was going on in Sochi.

Speaker 4:

Right. I remember, I mean, they had tried to give, give water some of this information, but we couldn't do anything with it because we weren't allowed to investigate. So I chaired the first investigation was limited to Russia only, and to athletics, track and field only. So we reported on that at the end of , uh , 2015 saying the system, as it affected track and field was totally corrupt, but there were two, the two loose ends that we didn't have, and they weren't really necessary for our report on it. One was the FSB, FSB is present regularly in the Moscow laboratory. And we said, well, what is the Russian state interest in stale, urine provided by athletes? That was a kind of a, does not compete. The other was reports of athletes coming with Brown paper bags with , with containers of urine in and depositing them various sports, say, what's that all about? Is this, is this kind of secret testing to see what their clearance times might be on a steroid program or what they didn't didn't know, but we made the observations, the subsequent, okay . Uh , investigation by Richard McLaren put those ends together. The FSB was there because they were involved in the substitution of samples given by Russians, in competition, pouring that stuff out, replacing it with clean urine, the paper bag stuff, which had been frozen and kept for just this kind of an occasion where the Russian athlete was tested in competition and would have been bounced except for the switching of the urine.

Speaker 3:

So they , they cannot participate in Tokyo. Um, so years decades, after you started all of this, isn't it a bit dark to you? That probably what was a few athletes cheating or a few hundred, or maybe a few thousand throughout the whole Olympic movement with their individual coaches became almost like where you began back in East Germany, not you began, but where all of this controversy began with the pharma labs in East Germany, state sponsored . I mean, it seems like we haven't gone forward. We've kind of gone where,

Speaker 4:

Well, w one of the things we've done is we've , we've turned over the rocks and that people have at least a better idea of this stuff is going on and that it's not here. And there , you know, in cycling, they used to say, elephant is clean. And then despite themselves, they found pause , Oh , well , uh, that was an outlier , uh, that person's gone now, the pelotons clean . And, you know, it just went case-by-case like that. So , but there's no, it it's, it's certainly double digits in terms of , uh , a percentage and we're , we're getting better at it. And , and we've got , uh , you know, you got out of competition tests, you've got , uh , you can find very small quantities, so you can get athletes that are coming off a program. And there's very little traces left of the stuff they've been taking, but now we can, we can find, we keep Olympic samples for 10 years now. And so as, as, as the knowledge of science and the knowledge of what's been being used expands because of

Speaker 3:

No , it's a cat and mouse game where they use masking agents and different things, and they figure you're testing. We'll never find this, but if you hold it for 10 years, that's a long way. And then you go back and strip metals from methods .

Speaker 4:

Absolutely. And that's in a sense that , you know , if you think about it, that's probably a more devastating outcome for athletes. And then being caught on the competition day in Santa, they got me, it's a fair cop and I'm out of here, but you know, 10 years later you've finished your, your career. You've got a family, you've got a job, you have a reputation in your country, and you're exposed as that being all false. It's, you know , you support

Speaker 3:

Calls for, do you export calls for tougher punishments, like jail time for athletes and S you know, some of the American debate is that they, they just don't suppress doping, but they rid sport of it with, you know , very tough measures, including jailing. I mean, Marion Jones went , the sprinter went to jail, but not very many people go to jail.

Speaker 4:

Well, she went to jail, not for doping. She went to jail for lying and lying to the FBI. And I , you know, basically I philosophically, if you cheat, I don't want to play with you . I just, you know , go away, but to go to jail, no , if you're part of the organization of it , then you're supplying steroids and you're, you're submerging sport, generally as a, as an official, that's a different thing.

Speaker 3:

If you were just a very quickly bullet point, tell me which sports you think you've really brought under control and made progress in. And what are the ones that are going to be the tough ones in the future? What would they be?

Speaker 4:

Well, certainly weightlifting has proven to be very tough and, you know, drug use is, is endemic , uh , track and field has got a big problem. Still. I don't think site cycling has solved its problem , uh, swimming as an increasing problem. It's, it's , it's, there's, there's no sport where there's, you are without risk

Speaker 3:

China. You know, there are calls for boycott in their upcoming games. Sorry, what year is it? It's a 20, 22. Is the winter . Yeah .

Speaker 4:

Mean basically, basically less than a year from now.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. Yeah, because of Tokyo was pushed back year. Tokyo looks like it may go forward. We'll have to wait and see what this pandemic, but on China, I remember reading and we sort of end where we began as I , when I read your book , uh , right before I did an interview with you in Beijing , um, you, you were not a big fan of the boycotts that took place , uh, with the Soviet union. And then the Soviets then boycott at four years later in salt Lake city and Los Angeles, Los Angeles.

Speaker 4:

No, I, I don't think , uh, I don't, first of all, I don't think they're effective. Secondly, if you , if you fast forward to Beijing, it's, it's being, it's a little bit like your government saying, we're so mad at you, China for suppressing the human rights and civil rights of , of some groups of your citizens, that you know what we're going to do to show you how annoyed we are. We're going to take away all the rights of our own athletes and put them metaphorically in jail at home to show you what dreadful people you are. Do you really think that's going to bring about conduct change in , in China? No, of course it's not. And we have a , a view, however, aspirational, it may be that the sport can help create a better world. You can, with the Olympic games, you can show that it is possible. Even if it's only a two week or one month bubble for 206 countries to live together, play together, work together, have common goals, you know , free of discrimination, all that sort of stuff. It is possible. And that's, I I've always thought that's one of the reasons why to go back to doping doping case at the Olympics is, is regardless, is so serious. Cause it , it destroys that aspirational goal. Now people are in professional sports, nobody cares. These people are regarded as gladiators and what they do to get ready for their , their sport. Then it's up to them. This is it's entertainment solely, but this , this aspirational international side of things is, is I think some good can come from it and it's not going to be , there's no silver bullet and it's not going to be , uh , you know , a sudden gestalt, but bit by bit going persisting with that view and insisting on, you know , doping controls and all of them, things that go with it, it, it can do something

Speaker 3:

Great to talk to you. And , uh, I've always been a big fan of yours. I think you you've been a , a great lightning rod for rod, for ethics and morality and sport, and you've never pulled any punches. And, you know, you're known for being forthright and , uh, and shooting straight from the hip and great for, you know, good for you. This is great to talk

Speaker 4:

To you. Thanks very much.

Speaker 2:

And that's our backstory on Richard pound and water. The world anti-doping authority. This struggle to clean up sports as you already know is endless, but I guess it's like street crime. You catch the bad guys and gals make them pay, but there's always another waiting in the shadows, ready to do anything to steal. In this case, it's a stolen victory from another athlete who should have meddled and was squeezed out by a cheater. If you like backstory sheriff , and I've now started a newsletter on what is news and what I think is worth reading because a lot of people are confused as to what news sources to tap into today. That newsletter is on Dana Lewis dot sub stack.com. And please sign up to this podcast if you haven't already. And thanks for listening, I'll talk to you again.