IOC’s Dick Pound says Russian Olympic ban only ‘a small victory’

The Russian national flag, right, flies next to the Olympic flag during the closing ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. (Matthias Schrader/AP)

The International Olympic Committee announced Tuesday it has banned the Russian national Olympic Committee from the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics due to doping violations stemming from the 2014 Games.

Dick Pound, a senior member of the IOC and the former World Anti-Doping Agency president, joined Jeff Blair and Stephen Brunt on Sportsnet 590 The Fan Wednesday morning to discuss the news.

“It’s a small victory, but it’s not the silver bullet that’s going to eliminate drug use from sport,” Pound said. “But I think had we not done this whatever credibility Olympic sport has and the IOC has would have taken a terrible, perhaps irredeemable, hit.”

Russian athletes that pass strict anti-doping protocols will still be allowed to compete at the Games, but under a neutral flag.

“My personal view would’ve been to ban everybody and get that dialogue started, or if it’s not dialogue you can actually have in a country like Russia at least you get people more willing to become whistleblowers and say, ‘this coach, that official,’ and if you can find a way to protect the source of your information then you can get a lot done,” Pound said.

“Most of the successful anti-doping efforts have not really been the result of tests. You’ve got to be lucky with the tests. You’ve got to find the right athletes at the right time and test them for the right things … and that’s not much better than a lottery.”

You can listen to Pound’s full interview below.

The Jeff Blair Show
Did the IOC go far enough in disciplining Russia?
December 06 2017

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