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  • London Latest - Pound Attacks BOA Doping Bylaw; Federer Eyes 2012 Olympics


    Pound Attacks British Olympic Association Anti-Doping Bylaw
    Canadian IOC member Dick Pound is a former WADA president. (ATR)

    Former World Anti-Doping Agency chief Dick Pound is piling the pressure on the BOA to drop its lifetime ban for drug cheats as Britain's Olympic leaders prepare to announce the next steps in their legal challenge against WADA.

    Pound, an IOC member from Canada, used a column in Britain's Guardian newspaper Tuesday to attack the BOA's bylaw, which rules that any athlete convicted of a doping offense is ineligible for selection to future British Olympic teams.

    WADA's code provides a maximum sanction of two years' suspension for a first doping offense.

    Noting the "obvious discrepancy between its bylaw and the code" – an additional penalty for the doped athlete, over and above the code sanction – he said the BOA had missed opportunities in 2003 when the code was first negotiated and in 2007, when the code was amended, to argue for the right to impose an additional sanction in the special context of the Olympics.

    "Instead of engaging in a thoughtful assessment of how to solve the situation, the BOA has resorted to demagoguery and, while blaming everyone else for the effects of its own legal errors, has attempted to wrap itself in a cloak of righteousness, a self-declared David, bravely alone in the face of Goliath," Pound wrote.

    "Our David is not, however, without feet of clay. The BOA bylaw has been in existence for 19 years. It has been applied 32 times and successfully challenged 29 times."

    Pound added: "The BOA has put itself in a position of being a rogue. If it remains convinced that its rule is nevertheless legally valid, it should appeal to CAS against WADA's determination of non-compliance.
    BOA chairman Colin Moynihan. (Getty Images)

    "The BOA's current conduct is unworthy, especially on the part of the host National Olympic Committee when the world comes to London next year. Respect for rules which it participated in adopting should be a matter of pride and conviction, not of being dragged kicking and screaming into forced compliance."

    The BOA declined comment on Pound's remarks.

    Last week, WADA confirmed that the BOA was the only NOC to be non-compliant with its code due to its lifetime ban on athletes found guilty of doping. That ruling followed the Court of Arbitration for Sport invalidating the IOC's eligibility rule that excluded athletes banned for six months or more from the next Olympics.

    Around the Rings is told that the BOA has now received WADA's explanations for the non-compliance.

    BOA leaders including chairman Colin Moynihan, who has vociferously defended the anti-doping bylaw, and CEO Andy Hunt, are holding a crunch meeting later this week to discuss their response to WADA.

    In the next week, the BOA is expected to formally announce the next steps in its legal challenge against WADA. The case is heading to CAS.

    Federer Eyes 2012 Olympics

    With the 2011 tennis season behind him, Roger Federer is already looking ahead to the 2012 Olympics.
    After falling short in the singles draws of the past three Summer Games, Roger Federer won doubles gold in Beijing with countryman Stanislas Wawrinka. (Getty Images)

    "I'm looking forward to coming back to London hopefully on three occasions next year,” he told reporters Sunday after winning his record sixth World Tour Finals.

    "So this is going to be an important place to play good tennis.”

    With the year-end championships coming back to O2 Arena next year, the other two occasions Federer is referencing are, of course, Wimbledon and then the Summer Games to be staged less than three weeks later on the same hallowed grounds of All England Lawn Tennis Club.

    Asked where a singles gold medal would rank alongside his record 16 Grand Slams, the Swiss was noncommittal.

    "It would be unfair to the other tournaments to pick the London Olympic Games as my No.1 priority,” he said.

    “But I don't want to miss it and I hope to be healthy when the Olympics start.”

    Slovak House
    (116 Pall Mall)
    The Institute of Directors headquarters at 116 Pall Mall will serve as Slovakia House for the London Olympics.

    A press release on the IoD website touts the building and its “prime location” and “magnificent” facilities.

    Slovak team attaché Jan Telensky seemed to agree.

    “We were very impressed, not only by the glorious surroundings of 116 Pall Mall, but also by the help and expertise offered by dedicated members of staff,” he said in a statement.

    “The IoD’s head office will have a significant part to play for us during the London 2012 Olympics and its unique location in the heart of Central London with its access to the lovely garden at the back will make everyone’s experience unforgettable.”

    Czechs Draw Inspiration from Drawing

    The “Fugue in Two Colors” drawing by renowned Czech artist František Kupka will inspire Olympians from the Czech Republic next year.

    The work is currently on display at the National Gallery in Prague.

    Czech media quote Czech Olympic Committee president Milan Jirásek as saying: “The work is a wonderful example of innovation, lightness and timelessness. All of us are excited about it. These are values we want to represent our Olympians.”

    Media Watch

    London’s The Telegraph reviews the 2012 videogame “Mario and Sonic at the London Olympic Games”.

    Politicians in London are attempting to figure out how the Dow sponsorship controversy will affect the political landscape.

    Reported by Mark Bisson

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