From Inside the Games
International Olympic Committee (IOC) member Richard Pound has called for a “forensic review” into responses to the entire Russian doping crisis to work out “how we got into the mess we are in now”.
Pound, speaking after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) last week overturned 28 out of 39 suspensions imposed by the IOC against Russian athletes for alleged doping at Sochi 2014, has also urged athletes to be more vocal in criticising administrators for not backing up their supportive anti-doping words with firm action.
The veteran Canadian official and former World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) President was reluctant to criticise the CAS decision until the full decision is published.
Pound, though, expressed concern that the Lausanne-based body had disregarded 40 years of legal precedent in anti-doping cases by insisting on absolute “proof” rather than a “beyond reasonable doubt” conclusion.
It is believed that the CAS panel did not consider much of the evidence prepared the IOC, including testimony from former Moscow Laboratory director Grigory Rodchenkov, as strong enough to prove culpability.
“At the moment, it is a little bit like wrestling with a bowl of jello,” Pound told insidethegames.
“It is hard until we see the reasons for the decision…to see what they believed and did not believe, it seems like Rodchenkov may have confused some facts.
“But the facts were verified by Richard McLaren’s [WADA-commissioned] investigation and then by Schmid and Oswald [commissioned by the IOC] and there is not a shadow of a doubt in my mind that it is all correct.
“If it is the case that CAS insisted on absolute proof then the entire anti-doping movement is critically wounded.
“We have 40 years of standards of proof and it has never been about a criminal burden of proof, in other words, ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’ application.
“We may have to consider amending the WADA Code to avoid these vagaries in interpretation from different CAS panels.”
“A key question should be how can we avoid CAS panels from getting the bit between their teeth and unilaterally changing burdens of proof?”