Zombie Organizations: Interpol, WADA and now FIFA?

As the New Year dawns across the sports integrity world, there are a number of vast zombie organizations staggering across the corporate landscape like half-dead creatures. They have no life, energy or drive. They have given up their fundamental purpose.Their leadership has failed them. They are the institutional living dead. First, let us be fair, many good, decent people work for them. They are trying to do the best they can in difficult circumstances. This article is not an...

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The Cold War Spy Games Inside Sports

As the world fixates on Russian spying and cyber-attacks in U.S. politics, the field of sports has been struck by similar intrusions and Canadian athletes and organizations are among the hardest hit. The Montreal-based World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) was warned last summer that Russian hackers were trying to breach its computer system, according to security officials and computer experts who requested anonymity to discuss the matter. The agency’s former director general, David Howman, who reported that he received death threats during...

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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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The ‘Secret’ Report for WADA

Below is the confidential paper on building an investigative culture in a corrupt sports world that I wrote for the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Think Tank held in Lausanne on September 20th. It was supposed to be secret but some craven twit leaked it to his pals in the media within 24-hours of it being circulated. Now that a number of journalists have read it, I have no hesitation in making it public. The headlines are: 1)     World Anti-Doping Agency is not...

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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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Russian Doping & Fixing: A Normal Way of Business

In the light of Richard McLaren's report on doping in Russia.  Here is a backgrounder from The Fix on corruption in Russian sports.  Kaliningrad is a grim, grey city stuck at the far western end of Russia. It is full of crumbling dockyards, high unemployment, and mobsters. The city is an odd outpost of the remains of the Soviet Empire. It is a Russian Baltic port, completely cut off from the rest of country and wedged between Lithuania and...

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Sports and the Russian Mafia

On the news that the Russian track and field athletes are banned from the Rio Olympics. Good decision. Two points, five lessons and the links between sports and the Russian Mafia. The Russian anti-doping system in sport was largely a sham: a Potemkin village of a program designed to give the appearance of an effective fight but in reality enabling widespread doping among their athletes. At the very heart of athleticism and the IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations) that was a...

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7 lessons from the IAAF and Russian Doping Scandals

So now we know. Now we know that the Russian anti-doping system in sport was largely a sham: a Potemkin village of a program designed to give the appearance of an effective fight but in reality enabling widespread doping among their athletes. Now we know that at the very heart of athleticism and the IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations) that was a deeply corrupted system that enabled doping athletes and coaches. Here are the lessons that we can learn: 1)    The myth...

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10 Thoughts on Sepp Blatter’s Resignation

1-  There are lots of people in the FIFA world who are far, far worse than Blatter. 2- It is possible that after the next FIFA election we could wind up with a president who will make us feel nostalgic for Blatter. 3- Blatter and his group at Zurich ran effective protection for national football federations around the world when they faced criminal investigations for corruption. From Nigeria to Iran to Greece – when governments, police forces and law enforcement have...

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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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