When Rio de Janeiro in Brazil in 2016 will be hosting the Olympic Games, it is a result of bad judgement of IOC.
That is the message from Herman Ram, director of the Dutch anti-doping authority. Along with Russia, who will host the Olympic Winter Games shortly, Brazil is one of the main concerns, Ram says.
“I think it is unacceptable that the IOC has decided to choose those countries who at that point in time already were completely non-compliant and had actually plans, but they were only there on paper,” Herman Ram says.
No games without better anti-doping effort
All though other smaller countries may have bigger problems in the fight against doping, the Dutch director sees the biggest threats in Brazil and Russia.
Herman Ram puts the label “disaster” on Brazil’s fight against doping. He also blames IOC for not putting more pressure on the countries on the anti-doping question.
“You could just demand a good, clear code-compliant program before you award the games. Otherwise, you don’t do it,” Herman Ram says.
This is not a money issue
He further argues that it isn’t that costly to improve the anti-doping effort. He estimates that 10 percent of the budget for the 2016 games in Brazil would bring the effort to a more satisfying level.
“In the end, this is not a money issue. IOC could choose the financially most feasible candidate, and at the same time tackle the anti-doping issues,” Hermad Ram says and adds: “If they wanted.”
Rio de Janeiro won the final round of voting with 66 votes against Madrid’s 32.
In the high profiled doping case against former Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong, many still active former team mates witnessed against the American.
Therefore, they received a reduced ban for their own violations of the doping rules. But that kind of amnesty is not the solution to the sport’s doping problems, says Frederic Donze, director of WADA’s European office.
“I think the difficulty about an amnesty is that if you do it, what about other athletes that has been sanctioned in other sports?,” Frederic Donze says.
Harmonization between sports has to be maintained
The same rules have to apply to all sports, the argument is. Therefore, no special rules can be used to clear up the doping mess in a single sport.
“If a basketball player is sanctioned for doping and see that a doped bike rider has benefitted from an amnesty, I think the concept of harmonization and fairness is a bit lost,” Frederic Donze says.
In the Armstrong case, riders as Christian Vandevelde and David Zabriskie only received a six month ban, even during the winter months with few races.
The size of the case is not important
Even though the US Postal case was very high profiled, Frederic Donze is convinced that the witnesses would have received the same ban whatever the size of the case.
“I don’t think we are looking at it from a publicity perspective. It is purely legally speaking. I think it would make no difference if they had revealed doping on a more low profile team,” Frederic Donze says.