December 28, 2006

"The Righteous Fury of Dick Pound": Wired brings us an interesting piece on the history of Dick Pound and WADA.

posted by apoch to general at 07:50 AM - 18 comments

Great link, apoch. Pound seeems to me to be a disillusioned optomist. I don't think his prosecutorial nature helps him, though. It provides cheating athletes with firepower. Also - "The Righteous Fury of Dick Pound" makes a helluva double-bill with "The Wild Adventures of Cindy Cocksocket".

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:10 AM on December 28, 2006

Regardless of whether Landis is successful in his attempts to clear himself, I hope that his willingness to fight this publicly at least forces some changes. Pound is absolutely the wrong person to be leading WADA. WADA is a quasi-judicial body, and its head should be impartial. Instead, Pound willingly admits that he is a prosecutor and a crusader. He refuses to allow the sytem to play itself out before calling someone a cheater. Why is WADA so against transparency in the process? It seems like the answer is that it is easier to get athletes, rightly or wrongly, for cheating if they don't let anyone know what they are doing and how they make decisions. I'd like to hear from Amateur about Landis's metabolite(s) argument. It sounds good to me, but lately I seem to be an apologist for athletes accused of doping.

posted by bperk at 08:35 AM on December 28, 2006

Pound just adds fuel to the fire. If an athlete cheats, take the gloves off and hit that athlete with everything you've got. But if it an athlete has a test that is proven to be tainted and he/she is cleared, confidentiality is the key. That is where I have a problem with Pound. All he has done is ruined the credibility of his Anti-Doping Agency.

Call it Pound's paradox: In the Code, Pound has created a framework that could restore faith in athletes and sports. But his inability to live by the Code may make him exactly the wrong person to lead the fight.
If this agency is ever going to be credible and unbiased, he needs to step down and stop giving cheaters an excuse to claim sabotage. When Dick Pound says something idiotic like "'Roid Floyd?", he's not helping WADA, he's giving Landis more ammo for his defense.

posted by wingnut4life at 08:37 AM on December 28, 2006

When Dick Pound says something idiotic like "'Roid Floyd?", he's not helping WADA, he's giving Landis more ammo for his defense. I think his name alone (Dick Pound) is enough ammo for just about anyone.

posted by BornIcon at 08:48 AM on December 28, 2006

Pound himself oversees the entire system by which these allegations against athletes are adjudicated, but he can't seem to stay silent and impartial. By speaking out, Pound violates his own rules. Exactly. In a big way. Pound is a zealot, and there are some positions -- anything that's supposed to be impartial, for a start -- that a zealot simply cannot be permitted to hold. Great article, apoch.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 09:05 AM on December 28, 2006

I do not like Dick Pound. The very reasons he did a great job setting up WADA (Zealousness, crusader level passion) make him the very wrong person to run it. I respect WADA's misssion, I don't respect the way Pound handle his position and responsibilities. If he where to step down, he could say whatever he wants and I'd ignore him as a blowhard. As it is, his position makes him a dangerous blow hard.

posted by apoch at 10:00 AM on December 28, 2006

Apoch, nice find. I agree with your points...Pound was absolutely the right man to set up the organization, and absolutely the wrong man to helm the organization. Well done.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 10:06 AM on December 28, 2006

Excellent link, apoch. I've never liked Pound and have always thought he does more to hurt his cause than help it with his comments. WADA has established procedures and they need to be followed by everyone, including Pound and the labs that run the tests. I firmly believe athletes deserve the opportunity to review the results of any positive doping test before it is announced in the press by Pound or anyone else. If the science is sound and the lab handles samples correctly, then positive results should lead to a quick and severe sanction. Any appeal process needs to be resolved quickly and not take years of an athletes career to resolve. As it works today in cycling, athletes can be convicted in the press based on inuendo, and disqualified from competition without any positive drug test at all. And once caught in the web of suspicion, they never get out.

posted by BikeNut at 12:23 PM on December 28, 2006

As I read this thread, Google has offered me two ads of interest, one for the steroid bible, and another offering me Androstenetrione. How curious. I am sympathetic to Dick's (in a side note, judging by the thumbnails, I think Ian McKellen has the lead on playing the hero in the Dick Pound movie)goals, though his methods have utterly discredited him and his organization. At the same time though, who hasn't looked at much of today's athletics and thought of how much is gifted scientists? I think Dick has made a good start, especially in making a unified organization to investigate this, but he is no longer the man to lead it.

posted by Bonkers at 12:52 PM on December 28, 2006

Good article, apoch. Also have a look at the link to some of the excuses used by athletes. The list is by no means comprehensive and I'm sure us SpoFites can remember better ones. Because the best one's not there: "My mother did it." (Copyright S. Warne)

posted by owlhouse at 03:48 PM on December 28, 2006

Also have a look at the link to some of the excuses used by athletes. Tyler Hamilton's I-ate-my-twin was my favorite until I read Daniel Plaza's. I feel especially sorry for his kid. It took ten years, but Plaza eventually got off. As for his wife... well, there's a joke there somewhere, I just can't figure it out.

posted by SummersEve at 03:58 PM on December 28, 2006

Try this for an opinion on Dick Pound from 2 years ago. I get the impression that the lady writing does not care for him. From the Atlanta Olympics of 1996 came this bit about Mr. Pound's charming wife. I'm all in favor of doing whatever it takes, within the bounds of law and ethics, to rid sport of performance enhancing drugs or training methods. However, there is one thing that I detest above all things, and that is arrogance. Mr. Pound seems to have OD'ed on it.

posted by Howard_T at 05:29 PM on December 28, 2006

Lance has the right idea...get rid of Pound, and let WADA fix it's problems. Wada could be a truly great organization. Instead its become tainted by it's own ridiculous decisions. Any organization that cannot correct itself after doing something stupid needs to be changed.

posted by True Blue at 05:42 PM on December 28, 2006

From Howard_T's article: That phony careerist and human necktie Dick Pound should promptly remove himself from public life and quit trying to enlarge his reputation by wrecking the reputations of others. But unfortunately it appears we will have to shove him forcibly from the Olympic stage while he is still grabbing at the free shrimp from the VIP buffet. Great stuff.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 06:38 PM on December 28, 2006

what an awkward article title

posted by RyanThaRappa at 01:22 PM on December 30, 2006

Good eye.

posted by yerfatma at 05:03 PM on December 30, 2006

I always thought that Dick Pound was such an arrogant prick because he lost the IOC Presidency that even I thought he deserved. Now, I'm not so sure. If Dick Pound, who used to be a really nice guy before WADA, turned into this partly due to Ben Johnson, I'm glad he's not the IOC president. Having said that, I do have a lot of respect for the man for doing his best to remove drugs from all sports. I also don't have a problem with him as the head of WADA. WADA is supposed to be an organization dedicated to making sports fair. Sometimes, that means butting a few heads.

posted by Lester at 05:52 PM on December 30, 2006

He's doing more than butting heads, Lester. As the article explains very clearly, he's violating the principles of fairness he's supposed to be upholding.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 07:41 PM on December 30, 2006

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