Former WADA head Dick Pound rejects claims sports have purged themselves of steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs.
The Director General of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) commended Major League Baseball in August for cracking down on doping in the wake of suspensions handed out to some of the sport’s best-known players.
“The MLB has approached the matter in a professional manner throughout, and we look forward to maintaining our close relationship as we move forward in our efforts to protect clean athletes and advocate doping-free sport,” David Howman said in a release.
Shortly before the statement was published, and just before the Aug. 5 announcement of suspensions of Alex Rodriguez and a dozen other players related to the Biogenesis scandal, Christine Brennan of USA Today suggested the sanctions would be proof that the sports world is changing.
“When the news comes, we’ll mark the moment as an unprecedented turning point, as a game changer, as the time baseball finally got tough on doping after decades of avoidance and deceit,” Brennan wrote on July 31 in Brennan: Crackdown Shows Tide Has Turned on MLB Dopers.
Dick Pound, who was president of WADA from its inception in 1999 to 2007, wasn’t impressed. He certainly isn’t convinced baseball is clean.
“Have baseball players stopped using steroids or HGH or whatever else they’re using? Of course not,” Pound told the CrossFit Journal in an interview on Oct. 9 in Toronto, Canada.
With reporters saying the pro leagues are finally serious about cracking down on doping, Pound’s comments suggest high-profile sports aren’t any cleaner and aren’t even particularly interested in keeping drugs out of their athletes.
“I think they’re all at risk—every single sport,” he said.