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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau honoured Richard “Dick” Pound as he stepped away from his role with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Foundation Board.

Pound, at 78 founded WADA and was the first president. The Montreal lawyer has been with WADA for more than 20 years.

Dick Pound, credit: AFP/Getty Images

“Thanks to his past athletic background, his years of working with various Olympic sports organisations, and his credibility, he was able to bring his experience and knowledge to the agency and to the global fight against doping in sport. He also helped make our country a leader in this fight, including by establishing the headquarters in Montreal.”

WADA director general Olivier Niggli described Pound as “the right person in the right place at the right time” and “the life and breath of WADA in those early years”

Pound is known for his frank and honest demeanor. In 2013, Athletics Illustrated interviewed Pound about topical doping issues:

CK: Arguably the most successful athletics coach in the world, Italy’s Renato Canova, is registered with Athletics Kenya, so therefore not ordered to leave. He is known to for saying that EPO and/or PEDs do not work on Kenyan athletes. What are your thoughts on his opinion about that?

DP: With the greatest of respect, that is complete and utter nonsense. It is like (Gary) Bettman (NHL Commissioner) and (Sepp) Blatter (FIFA President) saying that nothing on the WADA list would help a hockey/football players, so the athletes do not take them, and because none of the athletes take them, there is no need to have tests….

Pound headed an Independent Commission (IC) that was assembled in December 2014. The purpose was to investigate alleged corruption and doping practices within the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), now World Athletics. Also, within Russian athletics, specifically the All Russia Athletics Federation (ARAF) and the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RADA). He partnered with fellow Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren and Günter Younger head of the Bavarian Cyber Crime division.

Russia was banned in 2015 for systematic doping and continues to be ineligible to compete today.

Although International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach paid tribute to Pound, the two haven’t always got along. Two years ago, Bach removed Pound as chairman of the Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS) Board for both its Spanish and Swiss operations, insidethegames can reveal.

Pound has been removed as chairman of the Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS) Board for both its Spanish and Swiss operations, insidethegames can reveal.

It followed the veteran Canadian’s departure from the influential International Olympic Committee (IOC) legal affairs panel announced as part of updated Commission lists yesterday.

WADA was his brainchild. He put the agency together and was responsible for the code of ethics and the governing structure that are currently in place. He is also a former vice-president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and has served on many boards and committees for WADA and the IOC. Pound is a partner with the law firm Stikeman Elliot, specialising in tax law.

Starting in 1978, Pound began to revolutionise the Olympic movement by leveraging very large and lucrative television and sponsorship agreements that he was instrumental in creating; to re-shape the IOC into a multi-billion dollar enterprise.

As an athlete he won several swim medals during the 1962 Perth Commonwealth Games after having competed in the 1960 Rome Olympics.


Pound was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1992. Six years later, the government of Japan awarded him Gold and Silver Star of the Order of the Sacred Treasure, which is an award equivalent to the Order of the British Empire. The award was established in 1888 to those who have made distinguished achievements in research fields, business industries, healthcare, social work, state/local government fields or the improvement of life for handicapped/impaired persons. In 2005, Time Magazine named him one of the World’s 100 most influential people, they wrote:

Pound: It’s an appropriate surname for the head of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). Then again, so would be harass, rebuke, scold, and generally-makes-a-pain-in-the-ass-of-himself, although the latter would look awkward on a business card. The relentless Dick Pound, 63, has been a prime mover in freeing the Olympic world from the taint of illicit, performance-enhancing drugs, and he isn’t going to stop until he has all the world’s sports in the tent.