Doug Logan, who has been USATF CEO since July 17, has had a few good weeks. His letter to President Bush on the Marion Jones fiasco hit ESPN News and garnered, after some comments by sport geeks, much support. What follows are a series of questions I sent to Jill Geer at USATF for Doug. He answered them concisely, with very little room left for misinterpretation. Here is our interview:
RBR: What has the response to your letter on Marion Jones to President Bush?
Doug Logan: When the letter first hit mainstream news, I received a mix of support and name-calling. The name calling seemed to come from people who didn’t fully understand the context of my letter or of what Ms. Jones’ actions had done to the sport. When people within the track world read the letter, the response was overwhelmingly supportive and positive. I wrote about it in my first blog, which you can read at www.usatf.org
RBR: What prompted the consideration of changing the 4 x 400 meter US mens' record?
Doug Logan:It was a simple matter of doing the right thing. Antonio Pettigrew’s results from 1997 onward had been struck down by USADA in June, so we need to follow up and ensure his relay marks are taken away as well. A record tainted by doping isn’t one we want on our books.
RBR: What would you tell a young coach about sports and ethics?
Doug Logan At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I’d say ‘do the right thing.’ It’s a much simpler thing that some people make it out to be. Set an ethical example for your athletes by living clean and make sure you reinforce that message at every turn. If you live and compete with integrity, you will win with integrity.
RBR: What would you tell a young athlete about focusing on the sport of track & field?
Doug Logan You have chosen the world’s most glorious sport! There is something about track and field that speaks to basic human nature: running, jumping and throwing. To give your best effort is all anyone can ask of you.
RBR: How do you like doing a blog?
Doug Logan: It’s great fun to have a stump to speak from, and it is critical in today’s media environment. I’m a person who likes direct communication, and this is the most direct way that currently exists in terms of written communication. It’s a way for people to get a better sense of who I am and what I stand for, straight from the source.
RBR: What is your first reaction to the Russian athletes who have been nabbed in this year long
Doug Logan You never like to see a potential new doping scandal hit the front pages. As I said in my letter to President Bush, if something is too good to be true, you need to take a second look at it. I make no judgments on whether these athletes are guilty or innocent, but the fact that the IAAF is pushing the envelope on doping investigations is tremendous.
RBR: . How should the media portray positive tests? Is is the example of drug testing working or a sport in trouble?
Doug Logan They should portray them for what they are: individual people cheating and hurting the sport. Drug testing alone doesn’t work, it has to be combined with the sorts of investigations that the IAAF, USADA and federal government have conducted. It’s more accurate to say it’s an example of the anti-doping system working. If we do the things we need to do, we’ll give the media some good, positive stories to cover in the very near future.