Nelson Mandela will be remembered as a humanitarian, a politician, a visionary. He was also a sports fanatic who understood the crucial role sport could play in unifying the world and he used it with devastating brilliance.
Over the last week or so, we’ve been blessed to see some terrific sport played around the world. It reinforces what a tremendous force for good sport can be. As you know, I’m passionate about good, honest competition that is played well, competed fiercely and won or lost honourably and some of it this week has even revolved around Australian success, which for me, makes it all the sweeter.
Goodbye and good riddance, thanks for nothing Mr. Rogge. Don’t let the door hit you in the arse on your way out!
I want to know what Jacques Rogge is supposed to have done for world sport while he was President of the International Olympic Committee. The IOC is the global custodian of Sport and as such we expect its leaders to do just that: lead.
I’m pleased to be writing these notes after visiting sunny Cape Town where I was invited to speak at an international conference on drug-free sport and, as most of you will know by now, it’s a subject that’s very close to my heart.
Massive congratulations to Brian Cookson on his election in the last hour as the new President of cycling’s world governing body, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI).
With just under a week to go before the governing body for world cycling elects its new President, I’ve never been more confident now that our own year-long mission to remove Pat McQuaid from the post is about to reach its climax.
Whilst we were in New York City last week, I was contacted by former US National 800 metre runner Ray Brown, ranked 3rd in the US in 1989. Ray knew Ben when they were on the international circuit in the ‘80s. Ray, Ben and I had breakfast and he very kindly gave me the following piece he penned for the Wall Street Journal that articulates his view on the use of performance enhancing drugs.
Take it away Ray…
I first spoke to Ben Johnson about an anti-doping project around six months ago and it was clear he was engaged and committed. His insight into the problems was fascinating and he plainly wanted to be involved. While SKINS is promoting the campaign around the world for the next month, Ben isn’t taking a penny for his involvement. That’s because 25 years on, he recognises that nothing has changed and now he wants to do something about it. He has matured, he has understood more about the issues and the dangers and watched on as the administrators have done little about tackling the real causes.
During the summer months, we’ve been working on a massive project that I truly want every single person who reads this blog to be involved in. Don’t worry, it doesn’t end with you buying something, but it does provide you with a voice in a massive international survey we’ve undertaken on the health of world sport. I’m convinced it will interest every sports-mad person who cares passionately about the future of sport and equally convinced the results will give us all something to discuss on a worldwide scale.
The British actor and writer, Stephen Fry is a hero of mine. Not only is he an extremely talented, funny, self-effacing public figure, he is also a sports-tragic and very eloquent with an ability to provoke discussion on a wealth of topics and issues. Last week, he highlighted a current issue which I immediately thought reflected a much wider problem that’s prevalent in sport as a whole.