Image Credit: Peace Run

Image Credit: Peace Run

 
 Image Credit: Stephen McCarthy

Image Credit: Stephen McCarthy

 
 Image Credit: USA Swimming

Image Credit: USA Swimming

 
 Image Credit: Getty Images

Image Credit: Getty Images

 

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 of multiple instances that the system in place to police for doping violations failed (and too often was blatantly overlooked). I would like to see doping treated just as rules of play. If a rule is broken, the athlete should have the expectation that the specified protocol will be upheld and carried out. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is currently attempting to provide a solution to the problem of widespread 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 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 and another union representing athletes more broadly. Or perhaps a blind trust can be established by the IOC to fund this group. I don't believe there will be enough change unless the IOC is removed from the process of anti-doping reform. The Olympic brand and the possibility of systemic nation-wide doping will only be rehabilitated significantly when an effective policing force, without conflicting interests, is in functional working order. 

Talking to Eira and Wendy on the Distill It podcast addressing confusion amongst athletes on how to define doping.  

Talking on stage at Web Summit with Caitlyn Jenner and George Papandreou, former Prime Minister of Greece, on a panel titled "Has the Olympic Brand Deteriorated?" 

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 about Shirley Babashoff, Olympic swimmer of the Montreal Games who won four silver medals to doping East German athletes.