Introduced as one of Canada’s most accomplished living Canadians, Westmount resident and tax lawyer at Stikeman Elliott legal firm, Richard Pound is a Canadian swimming champion, and prominent spokesman for ethics in sport. Richard Pound shared his thoughts about the progress in anti doping in sport with members and guests of The Rotary Club of Westmount, Wednesday, May 17.
Richard was the first president of the World Anti-Doping Agency he helped found, and former vice- president of the International Olympic Committee. In 1992, he was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada and in 1993 was appointed an Officer of the National Order of Quebec. In 2014, he was appointed a Companion of the Order of Canada recipient of the Order of Canada. And so much more .
Asked to discuss the progress of anti-doping in professional and amateur sport, Richard did not have much good news. In what he describes as a continuing cat and mouse game between the athletes and their countries, and the scientists and the games, he explained the concern about doping in sports goes beyond the ethics of doping but is equally concerned about the health and safety of the lives of the athletes who too many times are not aware of the dangers of what they are playing with.
He shared the history of doping that began in the Olympics and has progressed to every amateur and professional sport. The issue is not only the escalation of doping but the sophistication of drugs that are becoming more difficult to identify and test for. Scientists are not only challenged to develop testing for doping, but staying one step ahead of the drugs to test for. Sports associations on all levels and in all categories, unwilling to loose their edge in the games the athletes get from doping, are reluctant to acknowledge the pandemic issue, leave along stop it. Hence the cat and muse game. The stakes are high as sport becomes more about winning and money, in terms of both the prestige and benefits , and salaries than about the essence and ethics of competition.