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WADA president responds to Lamour

Dick Pound

Dick Pound (Image credit: AFP)

WADA president Dick Pound responded to harsh words from his vice-president Jean-François Lamour, who announced his withdrawal from the race for WADA president and his resignation as its Vice President this week. In his statement, Lamour was highly critical of the organisation, saying he did not want to be president of a group which had "no clear and straightforward vision of its mission, and which cannot stand firm against outside pressure."

Pound clarified that Lamour was never guaranteed the president's seat when Pound stepped down from his post. "While Mr. Lamour had been selected [...] to serve as the government representative in the position of WADA Vice President for the calendar year 2007, there was no guarantee that the governments [...] would nominate him as their sole candidate to WADA's presidency," Pound declared in a statement.

Lamour objected to the nomination of Australian John Fahey as a competitor for the post, decrying an "Anglo-Saxon"/European rift in the organisation over the doping rules and overall mission. Pound denied that there is an English-speaking bias at WADA, saying, "Mr. Lamour's suggestion that there is an "Anglo-Saxon" conspiracy against him is incorrect, inappropriate and neglects the fact that represented in the decision-making are representatives of all five continents."

Pound went on to say that Lamour's criticism of WADA is unfounded because, "Not once during [his tenure] has he raised any concerns about the leadership and direction of the fight against doping that had been led by WADA. His sudden about-face in his public enunciations regarding WADA is astounding, unfortunate and suspect, in view of his previous support and commitment."

Lamour proposed that Europe create its own anti-doping agency, one that would hold more tightly to the "European" view, "holding on to ethics and the protection of athletes, fighting trafficking – a sort of international police officer in the fight against doping," Lamour described.

Pound refuted the need for another agency, saying, "The whole purpose to this international agency is to harmonize rules and policies, yet Lamour's recent proposals go counter to the entire premise behind the organization of which he was an active vice president until his resignation this week."

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Laura Weislo has been with Cyclingnews since 2006 after making a switch from a career in science. As Deputy Editor, she coordinates coverage for North American events and global news. A former elite-level road racer who dabbled in cyclo-cross and track, Laura has a passion for all three disciplines. When not working she likes to go camping and explore lesser traveled roads, paths and gravel tracks.