Thursday, May 03, 2007

It's the Olympics, stupid.

A few days ago, in a comment at Joe Lindsey's excellent Boulder Report, we wrote this offhand musing:

A thought burbling through my mind lately is whether or when the stakes elevate up to geo-political Olympic levels. A (self-inflicted) breakdown in the anti-doping system now, or worse, one resolved over the next year or two could leave things in a quagmire for the Peking Games.

Well, duh! Of course that's what it's about, and has been from the start.

It's about parts of the Olympic Movement (including it's WADA cronies) covering their own to protect their posteriors and their Interests in The Games.

This came into focus after learning that Landis arbiters McLaren and Brunet are just back from a trip together -- to Peking -- where they likely met a familiar face, that of one Hein Verbruggen, late of the UCI, and now involved in helping set up The Games. It's a Small World, after all.

What could they have talked about?

Maybe it was the same things as when Messrs. McLaren, Brunet and Pound
were the (unused) panel at a recent Pan-Am games together, hanging at the hotel bar. Waiting for a call that didn't happen to come, shooting the breeze -- talking Justice and Fairness, and the search for Truth in anti-doping adjudication.

I imagine that most likely, Mr. Pound is doing the talking, mentoring, and explaining to young Mr. Brunet: This is how the Olympic Movement works, my boy! Why, if you play your cards right, you might become a valuable member of The Club!

Have a cigar! You're going to go far!

Now Brunet is playing his cards. Can McLaren and Brunet pull off the charade of appearing to be fair as they do Landis in?

Their ruling on the B-sample testing put that into doubt, and there will be plenty more chances to use the ol' 2-1 to secure the necessary "victory."

Will Campbell tire of writing dissents? History says they have little effect.

Oversight? None. CAS is comprised of the same cast of characters, with an even more international (read: Olympic) flavor.

It should be clear with the fall out of the "strict liability" policy that the WADA puppets of the IOC don't give a hoot about actual fair competition. They do care a lot about the appearance of toughness about doping they can sell as part of The Image of The Games. Collateral damage to athletes, or sports, isn't even regrettable. Both are dispensable compared to The Image of The Games.

It's all about the Olympics.

Mr. Pound is already expressing concern about laxity of doping control for Peking. No wonder The System is anxious to crush Landis now. If he shows them to be what he believes they are, then all hopes of controlling The Games next year will be a shambles, with horrible political and economic consequences, not to mention the ratings. Should a bunch of pimply-faced unknowns sweep events that are rightly owned by the Sports Powers, the viewership that supports the advertising that justifies those big fat transfers of money would dwindle, and it's easy to see where that leads.

A quote we used long ago made a point, which seemed hyperbolic at the time, and now seems understated after all we've seen:

The UCI can't let him win as that would cast doubt on the whole testing process, so expect a smear campaign to be launched both in the press and behind the scenes as this will a fight for the life of the UCI and WADA, which are bigger than Landis. At best, that is he is clean, he will be a casualty of fixing the anti-doping (after the fact, that is) machine. (link)

Well, the UCI is too confused to care about anymore. Cycling is walking wounded as a sport. Now it's about the credibility of the Olympic inspired, sponsored, and paid-for anti-doping system, and how that affects The Games.

It's the Olympics, stupid!

Landis has a hard task trying to climb this Olympus. The gods up top are trying to smite him for suggesting they are imperfect, because that is bad for business.

It certainly would be nice to be wrong, and observe a fair and honest search for truth at the hearing, and to read a reasoned, persuasive, and just 3-0 decision.

We shall see.



strbuk said...

My husband and I were talking about this very thing the other night. They (WADA and the rest of the Olympic movement) can't afford to lose this fight any more than Floyd Landis can.


Michael said...


Where did you find the information about the two arbiters meeting in Peking?


Anonymous said...


I'm with Mike. It would be nice if you could prove that accusation, and it be followed up by main stream press. It would be great if that information was provable with Photos to be released 3-4 days before the hearing.

To WADA and IOC it IS all about the Olympics. It has always been about winning and never about a search for truth. For WADA and IOC the "search for Truth in doping" is nothing more than a red hearing, a slide of hands to keep the money rolling in. It is a sad day when the search for truth and justice takes a back seat to keeping the money rolling in.


Anonymous said...

ORG here ....

Their was a big olympic conference in Beijing (Peking) last week that had hundreds from the west in attendance.

This much is fact.

Anonymous said...

ORG Again ....

Here is a link to Rogge opening remarks to the Beijing conference last week

In light of what has been said here, the following comments by Rogge are very interesting:

the leader of the Olympic Movement took the opportunity to throw a word of caution on issues that challenge sport. “The fight against doping remains top of our list,” he said. “It is vital that we support the World Anti-Doping Agency in its effort. Their World Conference on Doping and Sport in Madrid in November will be an excellent occasion to discuss the progress made in this fight, and anticipate future threats.”

swimyouidiot said...

Wow, TBV, I think that is the most cynical piece I have heard from you. That in itself it troubling.

I think that is really inappropriate for McLaren and Brunet to be hanging out together. And for both of them to be hanging out with Mr. Pound is just over the top.

Don't they have sense of trying "to avoid the appearance of wrong-doing?" They are the friggin jury in this case. Do they really think it is okay for the jury members to be having drinks? I doubt it is against any rules, and maybe as two respectable gentlemen they agreed not to talk about the case (legal types do that all the time, right?), but again, appearances.

Just ridiculous.

They may

Anonymous said...

ORG once again ....

Here is a "Delgate Directory" for the Beijing Conference,11040,5035-183348-200566-120962-0-file,00.pdf

Brunet is on the list, Representing the International Triathlon Union and so is McLaren, representing Univerisity of Western Ontario Laws school (side note, did you know that Dick Pound was the commencement speaker for Western Ontario's Law School? It really is a small world, isn't it?)

Pat McQuaid was also on the list.

Pound is not on the list but 16 WADA officals were. Campbell is not on the list. (included from WADA were Richard Young and David Howman)

Michael said...


Maybe Floyd can supoena McLaren and Brunet and ask what was discussed over beers....

Daniel said...

What a brazen disregard for decency and the appearance, at least, of fairness. F______ BS.

I must suggest turning to Morrissey for solace:

The kind people
Have a wonderful dream
Mr. Pound on the guillotine
Cause people like you
Make me feel so tired
When will you die ?
When will you die ?
When will you die ?
When will you die ?
When will you die ?

And people like you
Make me feel so old inside
Please die

And kind people
Do not shelter this dream
Make it real
Make the dream real
Make the dream real
Make it real
Make the dream real
Make it real

(please do not think I literally want Mr. Pound to die, it's just a muse).

Anonymous said...


That is great information, I just hope MSM will pick up on it, without Floyd putting out a press release screaming foul.

I love all the email address that can be written to, for concerned citizens voicing disgust with the WADA, IOC, etc. ;)

A-town, Tx.

Cheryl from Maryland said...

I think you are right on the money, TBV, although I think some angst is caused by WADA, IOC, etc. just realizing what a nightmare the Beijing Olympics is going to be. When you consider that Pound, Dick issued a warning for athletes not to eat outside the Olympic village as eating meat in China can raise testosterone levels due to the hormone regimine of livestock in China, you know WADA and the IOC are going to have their hands full.

Anonymous said...

China is far behind the rest of the world. They do not have a anti-doping agency yet (their version of USADA). They are rumored to have doping camps where children are training for the olympics. Train and dope hundreds with potnetial hoping one can win next year.

Pound suggested that if atheltes no one has heard of win, they will be viewed with suspusion. Well, on this score, he is correct. You watch the number of teenagers you have never heard of win for China next year.

pcrosby said...

One aspect of human behavior that leads me to sadly agree with TBV is that humans can be so convinced that they are doing the right thing that they will do unspeakable violence to the truth, concepts of fairness and due process. Given the goal of eliminating doping a true believer can then trample on everything, even the science they use, in trying to achieve the goal.

Thanks for pulling back and looking at the bigger picture.

Thomas A. Fine said...

It's not all about the olympics. Don't forgot about ASO and their spat with UCI, and how they love any excuse to make sure that the Grand Tours are not part of the Pro Tour.


daniel m (a/k/a Rant) said...


Well done. Almost Rantian in how you connect the dots. ;-)

Here's an interesting article on the subject from Britain's Daily Mail:

- Rant said...


I don't think ASO and the UCI have anything to do with the fix that may or may not be in the AAA or CAS procedings. That's all connected to The Games.

Cycling is a mouse beneath the Olympic Elephant dance.


Thomas A. Fine said...

Rant, when I read it I actually thought "that sounds like something rant would write".

TBV, yeah you're probably right. You have convinced me that the olympic issues loom larger than I thought.