From 1999 to 2007, Dick Pound was the world’s most outspoken critic of doping in sports.
The Canadian lawyer, who was also vice president of the International Olympic Committee, battled against performance-enhancing drugs on every level of sport, and he’s heard every excuse imaginable from athletes who seek unfair advantages. He maintains that the ethics of sport and a desire to protect our children from doping supersede all other concerns when it comes to competition.
On Oct. 9, Pound sat down with Marty Cej of CrossFit Media in Toronto, Canada, to talk about doping in sports: what’s being done to prevent it and what should be done.
Referencing an Oct. 4 New York Times headline, Cej asked Pound if baseball is indeed in the “post-steroid era.”
“I don’t think so—not yet. That’s the way you try and solve an endemic crisis in a sport in kind of a corporate way: you fire the CEO, declare the problem solved and the golden road is ahead of you. Have baseball players stopped using steroids or HGH or whatever else they’re using? Of course not.”
Is there a solution? For Pound, it requires strict anti-doping enforcement as well as a campaign to educate athletes, coaches, parents and fans.
“I used to say, when I was starting off as WADA president trying to get people to understand the problem, ‘I don’t want—for example—I don’t want my child to have to become a chemical stockpile in order to be good at sport because there are a bunch of sociopaths out there that don’t care about the rules,’” Pound said.
He added: “And then you need the science. You need to have a good way of detecting. Intelligent testing is far more important to me than doing thousands and thousands of tests. Think like a doper. You know enough about the sports system: ‘All right, you want to run 9.5 in the hundred meters in Rio, which will be on July 17, what are you going to have to take to do that, when are you going to take it, and who’s most likely to be doing it?’ And then focus in on, you know, half a dozen or a dozen athletes and you’ll catch them.
“There is a deterrent impact on this, and that’s also what you look for.”
Video by Marty Cej and Jon Gilbert.
HD file size: 234 MB
SD mov file size: 88 MB
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Additional reading: ’Roids all the Rage by Mike Warkentin, published Oct. 29, 2013.