The press conference this morning for the Independent Commission Report for WADA, directed by Dick Pound was an amazing piece of media theatre. Dick Pound provided the assembled media (this writer was on the global conference call) with a picture of the systematic deception of the Russian Athletic Federation that, Mr. Pound believes, went much farther than athletics. His suggestions that Federal Security (FSB) was involved in Sochi cover ups was amazing.
In this 90 minute time period, Pound had the world’s sports media listening to his every word. He noted that the Moscow Drug Lab destroyed 1417 drug samples in December 2014, that the highest echelons of Russian sports bureucracy had to know about this program of deception.
Pound is the man to head up such an investigation. He congratulated ARD TV on their difficult investigation. Pound also noted that athletics is not the only sport and IAAF is not the only federation to be dealing with such problems.
Pound was asked two questions of current import: One was on Seb Coe’s role in cleaning up the sport. Pound believed that Seb was capable of such an effort; he also gently reminded media that a big difference between what Mr. Coe said while running for office and being in office.
A media member also asked if the IAAF should be chastized for the current crisis. Pound noted that the IAAF started their anti-doping programs, but seemed to have lost its way.
The report opens as many questions as it answers. I will need a day to digest and then will write up a response.
In many ways, this is exactly what was needed. One of the most important athletic federations in the world, the Russian Federation is now faced with non-compliance, and humiliation. This is modern day equivalent to Morality play that was performend in many city centers of Europe in the Middle Ages. Dick Pound has chastized Russia with overwhelming evidence, but also hinted at the opportunity, with a complete rebuilding of an organizationa and culture that dates back to the Cold War, the chance for modern redemption in the quasi-religion of the global world: sports.
For Russia to have self respect, it must be part of the sporting world. This will come at a painful price. Hopefully other countries who have been treading on the doping line will learn from this amazing video.
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