From Inside the Games

Richard Pound has been told by John Coates he does not deserve to be recognised as the doyen of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) following his latest interview where he criticises the organisation’s controversial stance on Russia.

The 75-year-old Pound, a member of the IOC since 1978 and its longest-serving member, has been a consistent critic of the IOC and its President Thomas Bach over the possibility that Russia may be allowed to march under its own flag at the Closing Ceremony of the Winter Olympic Games here on Sunday (February 25).

A headline in the London Evening Standard quoted him as saying that “only athletes can scare IOC old farts into beating cheats”, before a subheading claimed that IOC President Thomas Bach is “sending a bad message by rolling over”.

The response of Coates, a close ally of Bach who defeated Pound in an election to become President of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in 2010, can be taken as a reflection of views held by the IOC leadership.

It marks an escalation of tensions that have long been simmering behind the scenes and, on occasions, in the public domain.

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