Thu, Nov 26, 2015 - Page 19 News List

Next report to have ‘wow factor’: Pound

Reuters

Then-World Anti-Doping Agency chairman Dick Pound speaks to reporters in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Feb. 4, 2002.

Photo: AP

Dick Pound, author of the report that revealed shocking levels of doping in Russian athletics and led to the suspension of Russia’s athletics federation, says the upcoming second part of the report will be even more explosive.

In an interview with Britain’s Independent newspaper published yesterday, Pound said the next round of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) report that looks into possible corruption within the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) will be even more jolting.

“When we release this information to the world, there will be a wow factor,” former WADA president Pound told the paper. “People will say: ‘How on Earth could this happen?’ It’s a complete betrayal of what the people in charge of the sport should be doing.”

The second part of the investigation delves into the IAAF and paved the way for the arrest of its former president, Lamine Diack, and ex-head of anti-doping Gabriel Dolle, and is now in the hands of French authorities.

The French authorities are looking into possible corruption within the IAAF and the results of the 15,000 blood samples which were leaked by the organization in August.

Pound, who has yet to see the analysis of blood samples while the French prosecution is ongoing into Diack, Dolle and Habib Cisse, a legal adviser at the IAAF to Diack, said studying that material would probably delay publication of the report.

“It would be nice to have it done in 2015, but it looks more likely to be January,” Pound said. “One fear is that if we issue it on the Friday before Christmas for example, no one will notice it and we want to have the maximum impact and deterrent.”

For now, Russian athletes are banned from competing internationally until complying with WADA rules, but Pound said that despite his push for a ban from next year’s Rio de Janeiro Olympics, he expects they will be allowed to take part.

“It’s my expectation that Russian athletes will be in Rio ... and I’d be very surprised if the organizations that have to declare them compliant again would not be cooperative in making that happen,” he said.

Pound vowed to keep up the fight against widespread doping.

“This is a proper fight and no matter how many sad tales you hear of tainted supplements, that’s nothing compared to the planned, organized and well-financed cheating that occurs,” he said. “That’s not accidental.”

“So we’re turning over rocks people don’t want to be turned over,” he said.

Pound said he hopes that the impact of the second part of the WADA report will spur support for the anti-doping movement and lead to funding for further probes.

“It could be the start of something good,” he said.

Kenya is one nation he singled out for such a probe after allegations of corruption by Athletics Kenya officials.

“It wouldn’t surprise me if WADA did end up doing an investigation on the ground in Kenya, especially with the level of denial from the sport and the [Kenyan] government authorities amid pretty obvious evidence,” he said.

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