My participation in sport completed years ago ('96 Olympic Silver, Former World-Record Holder, Swimming), but the Olympic movement is still close to my heart. I competed against many doping athletes during my reign as one of the world's best swimmers and, as a young athlete, I was devastated to learn that the system in place to police for doping violations was not consistently enforced. I would like to see doping treated just as rules of play. If a rule is broken, then the athlete experiences a repercussion. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is currently attempting to provide a solution to the problem of doping by forming the Independent Testing Authority (ITA). Unfortunately, the ITA is only independent in name. Leadership has been appointed by the IOC and it will be funded by the IOC.
I believe the Olympic movement needs a newly-formed, non-IOC administered and funded policing force to enforce anti-doping standards prescribed in the WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) code. I propose that this is structured and implemented by joint efforts between an athlete union representing all Olympic athletes (willing and interested former and all current Olympians), WADA, and/or National Governing Bodies (NGBs) of Sport. I don't believe there will be enough change unless the IOC is removed from the process. Sponsor dollars and other interests the IOC needs to protect present a conflict of interest.
In addition to being a proponent of clean sport, I'm also a coach and a founding member of Art of the Olympians - an organization promoting the Olympic Ideals - integrity, respect, honor, and dedication in the pursuit of excellence - through educational programs. I live and work in San Francisco, CA.
Happenings and News:
An article by Ben Jervey in GOOD magazine about clean athletes competing against steroids.
Article by Michael Moynihan of the Irish Examiner talking about the Rio Games.
An interview by David Reider of Swimming World about anti-doping efforts and the role of athletes.
This article written by Karen Crouse in the New York Times published about Shirley Babashoff, Olympic Swimmer of the Munich and Montreal Games.