So, I’m leaving Boston Monday afternoon, and I find “Fresh Air” on the radio. The main guest was Dick Pound, the man with the name that’ll get any site that tries to discuss doping, etc, blocked on every elementary school computer in the world. The interview’s here.
I really, really enjoyed the bit. Dick’s clearly committed to fighting doping. But he’s been tagged as a bit of a facist for wanting harsh penalties for folks caught doping.
One of the bits that really resonated with me was that, under the current system, the only folks who really get punished for doping are the atheletes. Known “bad” coaches and other facilitators can usually skate. Which is wrong, IMO.
Dick also relayed a bit about Juan Antonio Samuranch’s (then director of the IOC, the head of the Olympics) reaction to the 1998 Festina Affair at the Tour de France that made my blood run cold, and put Pound’s perceived excesses into perspective.
As background, in 1998, the Festina cycling team was caught by the French police with industrial quantities of doping agents. Pretty much the entire team, from the director sportif and the cyclists on down to the kid who fills the water bottles was involved and charged. Big deal.
Samuranch’s reaction? Something along the lines of “To me, this is not doping.”