Strategic Deception and the Sporting World

How the UNODC and IOC have created a movement that purports to fight sports corruption but actually puts it in reverse. ”The West are wishful thinkers, we will give them what they want to think…” Feliks Dzerzhinsky - Founder of the Soviet Spy Services Back in the day, things were not going well for the Russian Bolsheviks. It was 1919, they were nominally in power in the newly established, Soviet Russia, but really were losing a land war to their bitter enemies...

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How to Survive an International Sports Integrity Conference

You ain’t in Kansas anymore Dorothy. Back in the day, international sports integrity conferences - like Play the Game, happening right now in Colorado Springs - were jovial affairs where independent journalists, saddened whistle-blowers and beleaguered sports officials could meet, chat, drink and sometimes dance. Now, everything has changed. Sports are battle grounds of geopolitical soft power. Hard power is the idea that you can conquer another country with tanks, planes and lots of death. Soft power is the idea that you can...

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The Sporting Scandals of the Season

It is in the dog days of summer that the dirty deeds get done. A good habit for European and North American investigative journalists is to check government press releases at the beginning of the July 1st/4th weekend and the Friday before the Christmas Holidays. For it is then, when most people are rushing out the door for their holidays, that bad news emerges from guilty corporations, complicit government departments and cunning media spokes people. In sports corruption, the equivalent are...

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The Russian Olympic Doping File

It is a slow-moving disaster than penalizes clean athletes and rewards a dirty system. Welcome to the Russian state sponsored doping saga, episode number 58. ** Here is some context. For those readers who do not follow the fast, exciting world of winter sports in the Virgin Islands – the beach training is intense and the air conditioning can be very cold – you may have missed the sad news of Ms. Kathryn Tannenbaum, the skeleton sledder from those temperate isles. Skeleton sledding is...

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Fixing Wrestling, Academics and the Olympics

As the sporting world wrestles with yet more revelations of doping at the Olympics, an excellent analysis of alleged corruption in the Rio Olympics wrestling tournament  has been published by the fight website www.flowrestling.com I single out their articles for a couple of reason. First, to a neutral reader the idea of 'fixing' and 'wrestling' being in the same sentence is hardly surprising.  What is unusual is that this not professional wrestling but Olympic wrestling: purportedly the highest form of...

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Canada’s Pride

Its nice to be able to write a story where the Canadian sports officials are not burying their heads in the sand or passing the hot potato of accountability as quickly as possible.   This is an exclusive interview with Richard McLaren, the Canadian sports lawyer who investigated the state-sponsored Russian doping system. Richard McLaren announcing the results of his investigation into Russian state-sponsored doping It is the Lance Armstrong scandal meets Kremlin Cold War politics, with some underhanded KGB tactics thrown...

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How to Investigate Sports Corruption without upsetting the Senior Executives

Lets judge them using their own words. Today, (October 7) the Qatari-sponsored International Centre for Sports Security (ICSS) prepares to officially launch another alphabet soup of an organisation - the Sports Integrity Global Alliance (SIGA) or possibly they will announce a shift in their own organization's deck chairs while attempting to convince the sports world they should be taken seriously. The next day, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will continue their long, slow murder of the World Anti-Doing Agency (WADA). They...

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If You Love Sports, Switch Off the Rio Olympics

Ten Points on the Russian Sports Doping Scandal 1. The only way to get clean, dope-free sport is for fans around the world to switch off the Rio de Janeiro Olympics: I do not write this lightly. Nor do I write about the rampant corrupton of the Brazilian construction industry, the potential spread of the Zika virus, the dangerous raw sewage that some of the athletes are being forced to compete in, the violence of the local police/criminals, the bulldozing of...

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Rio Olympics: Why They Should be Postponed or Moved

A brilliant piece of public health analysis by Amir Attaran in last month's Harvard Public Health Review .  This is the source research that 150 other medical experts agreed with and sent a letter to the World Health Organization (WHO) asking that the Rio de Janeiro Olympics be postponed, moved or canceled.  Read Attaran's words and it is difficult not to agree.  I take the liberty of re-publishing the article in full because it is such an important medical...

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They Have Already Failed: IOC and Interpol

Three weeks away and much to discuss. Lets begin with the non-action of the Olympic integrity officials. They have already failed. In case you missed it amidst the barrage of fancy sounding “anti-corruption” conferences and announcements from various bureaucrats about how they are fighting hard against fixing, leaving no stone turned, standing vigilant, etc, etc [fill in your favourite cliché here] you may have missed the po-faced declaration from Interpol and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) about their joint campaign to...

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