The Devil is in the Details

To start with the important point: it is a good idea. This is the proposal that came out of a meeting of the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) sports integrity forum last weekend. The IOC’s reputation has suffered so much damage over the years that the words – ‘meeting, ‘sports integrity’ and ‘IOC’ - immediately plant in many people’s heads the image of a conclave of mobsters chatting with Monty Burns from The Simpsons. The truth is more prosaic. The committee meetings of the...

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The Wrong People using the Wrong Tools in the Wrong Way

It is a tale of two reports. The first was released last month by the investigators of the Cycling International Report Commission (CIRI).  They examined the actions of Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) who govern elite cycling. Their report is a review of the colossal failure of anti-doping efforts in cycling over the last twenty-years. This failure came about despite tens-of-millions of dollars being spent on anti-doping and the deaths of a number of riders.  The former cyclist Nicole Cooke brilliantly described...

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Two Crises, One Continent

It was a bizarre accident that started the investigation. On a road in northern Italy a driver fell asleep. No big deal. Except the driver was a soccer player from the local team who could not stay awake, no matter how hard he tried. When the police tested him, they discovered he was not suffering from narcolepsy; but a gambler had drugged him and some of his team-mates to ensure that they played so badly they lost the game,...

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