Since my previous blog, both the IAAF and the IOC have given their decisions arising from WADA’s McLaren Report. So much has since been said and written about these decisions and the implications arising from them, that I do not intend regurgitating the issues.
But I do want to say this: none of it is a surprise.
In my previous blog I wrote that: “It’s a big test for Thomas Bach who, like too many top sporting officials, has not been known to rock the boat.”
That was a polite way of saying that Thomas Bach and the IOC stand for nothing. Certainly not the Olympic ideals that are incorporated into the Olympic Charter.
For a start, ‘Fundamental Principle’ number one states that the concept of Olympism revolves around “the joy of effort, the educational value of good example, social responsibility and respect for universal fundamental ethical principles.”
Principle number four says that sport is a human right and everyone should be able to practice it “without discrimination of any kind”. It also states that the “Olympic spirit” involves “friendship, solidarity and fair play”.
Principle number six again talks about rights and freedoms and explicitly states that there should be no discrimination “of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, sexual orientation, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.”
Really, IOC? When you compare the Charter with the IOC’s actions, it’s ROFL stuff.
Even before the most recent failure to adhere to their own ideals, I have written about the IOC’s lack of leadership.
It’s evident in how they cow-towed to Russia in respect of the anti-gay bill for Sochi 2014. It’s evident in Bach failing to condemn his former work mate at adidas, Sepp Blatter, for six months after last year’s arrests, despite acres of evidence in existence beforehand. And it’s certainly evident in how they’ve dealt with, and reacted to, doping allegations culminating in the McLaren Report.
What the IOC has done by passing the decision on whether to ban athletes or not to international federations is to show, once again, that they are unfit to lead. The national anti-doping organisations of 13 countries said as much also. (By the way, I’m disappointed that Australia is not a signatory).
The ‘Olympic Movement’ requires compliance with the Olympic Charter. The Olympic Games is the IOC’s event which is the “peak” of Olympism as embodied by its values. Yet the IOC does nothing except abrogate their responsibility and bury their head in the sand saying that none of this has damaged the IOC.
You are wrong Mr Bach.
We love the Olympic Games. We celebrate the athleticism, dedication, commitment, determination, competitiveness and sportsmanship of athletes. As much as possible, I will be a ‘couch potato’ over the two odd weeks of the Olympics as well as the Paralympics.
But the ‘Olympic Movement’ as practiced by the IOC, and led by Thomas Bach, has passed its use-by date.
Mr Bach, you might think you’re still an emperor with clothes. We see it very differently.
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P.S. Further reading …
* I’ll be blogging regularly throughout the Olympics so make sure you come back!
* If you’re interested in the behind-the-scenes machinations of the IOC and you can read German, or have access to a good online translator, take a look at www.jensweinreich.de. Along with Andrew Jennings, Jens is an expert on the ‘Olympic Movement’. He is in Rio, and will have some valuable commentary and insights on the politics.