FINA and the IOC and Doping – the day is coming

From: John Leonard, ASCA Executive Director
To: Cornel Marculescu, FINA Executive Director
Date: Wednesday, July 13, 2016
Subject: FINA and the IOC and Doping

Mr. Marculescu – the day is coming

If FINA and the International Olympic Committee continue this charade of saying “zero tolerance for doping” while acting with complete tolerance for any star who is doping and has been convicted, then the following will soon happen.
(more…)

World’s Clean Adult Athletes Must Protect Themselves

The World’s Clean Adult Athletes Must Protect Themselves
  by John Leonard, ASCA & WSCA

With the latest series of rulings by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), it has become clear that the world’s clean swimmers must fend for themselves. The entire “Olympic Circus” exists for the dollars to flow, and all verbiage of “zero tolerance” is utter nonsense. In point of fact, anything that disrupts the flow of dollars via the TV contracts and sponsor dollars is the only thing where “zero tolerance” is actually demonstrated. The primary “mover” of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is “the Games (with our best athletes) must go on”.

Protection of doped athletes, at the expense of CLEAN SWIMMERS, is the reality. The world’s majority of swimmers, who are clean, suffer for the few who pervert sport into “the circus”. They lose money, fame and opportunity due to cheaters in every sort of event. This is not sport, this is IOC “entertainment”.
(more…)

Why Olympic Sport Doping Matters

Why Olympic Sport Doping Matters to Every Swimming Coach in the World

by John Leonard

  1. The IDEALS of the Olympics are noble and filled with values that matter to most humans. When they are VIOLATED, our best selves are attacked, and all we aspire to is put at risk of loss.
  2. IF the world does not believe the sport results of the Olympic Games are REAL, our entire world of sports may be entertainment, but it is no longer Sport. (PLAY TRUE)
  3. If it all comes down to “who can beat the system” (be that individual or government-led), why would anyone or anyone’s parents invest time, money, energy or passion into that pursuit? Doped sport = false sport = no sport.
  4. Why would any of your athletes “train hard, train smart and sacrifice” if they know or believe that their competitors have taken an illegal shortcut?
  5. If parents believe that drugs are indispensible to success, how long will they keep their children engaged in the activity of sport?
  6. If doping wins, people will stop caring about sport. No passion means no attachment to the Olympic Games or Swimming.

Once (before World War II) we had SPORT. Will we have it again?

WSCA survey seeking media feedback and census data

A survey has been developed for WSCA to collect data on communication strategies. The survey is 22 questions and available in 7 languages (English, French, Spanish, German, Japanese, Russian and Romanian).

We request you take the survey, which can be found online in:

Note: Survey responses are desired from all members of the Swimming community, including coaches, athletes, officials and supporters. Please feel free to forward the survey link onto additional Swimming parties to complete.

Why WSCA changed its approach to FINA and the WSA from 2010 to 2015

Why did WSCA decide to changes its approach to FINA and the WSA from 2010 to 2015?
  by George Block, WSCA President

In 2010, at the WSCA convention in Indianapolis, USA, the WSCA Board gave two instructions to our Executive Director. The first was to work with the FINA Executive Director, if possible and productive, and if not, the second imperative was to “blow FINA up”. No explosives were transferred; the second instruction was a bit metaphoric.

What the metaphor referred to was the understanding (both academically and pragmatically) that it is easier to blow up an existing large, bureaucratic organization and start over, than it is to significantly reform that same organization. We had lived through that experience in the USA. The AAU [Amateur Athletic Union] was no longer serving its member sports well, so Swimming lit the fuse to blow up the AAU and start over with the current National Governing Body format that everyone recognizes today. At the same time, the Olympic House was no longer serving the needs of Olympic athletes, so Congress blew it up and chartered the United States Olympic Committee that we know today, as well.
(more…)

The Importance of Coach Bios

Dear Coaches, Colleagues, and Friends,

NO ONE will help us if we do not help ourselves. Bureaucrats, “administrators”, public relations people and functionaries do not produce athletes. Coaches produce athletes.

Yet, looking at athlete bios from federations and related groups, it is infrequent and inconsistent that the COACH AND CLUB of the athlete is listed. This fails to recognize the fine work of us as professionals, and leaves the impression in the reader’s mind that this athlete developed in some vague vacuum. Worse, it leaves the contact for journalists, who wish to discuss the athlete, with the public relations functionaries of the organization providing the biography rather than with the coach, who is the true expert on the development of the athlete.

(more…)

Solutions in Anti-Doping

Friends, as we survey the doping/anti-doping landscape on the way to Rio, several things stand out. In my opinion:

  1. Doping is widespread in our sport and others.
  2. Corruption in some parts of the world in anti-doping is rampant, proven and on-going. (No deterrent effect seen so far.)
  3. The nations of Russia, China and Brazil all have very high numbers of doped athletes caught by various testing agencies over the past 6 years. Much higher than any other nations.
  4. There are western “trusted” anti-doping agencies. The USA/Great Britain/Australia among others. These are working together cooperatively.
  5. “FINA” says the athletes in the top-10 list in each Olympic event will be tested “7 to 10” times in the lead up to Rio. The caution is that that is TRUE only among the already trusted nations, where 6-7 nations in #4 above have agreed to do so. So the “trusted” anti-doping countries will be MAXI-TESTED and the Russia/China/Brazil cheats will NOT be tested any more (or at all). Hardly fair dinkum as our Aussie friends would say. This is an unfair system. The most doped nations get a free pass.

(more…)

Carlile Cup Goes to the Man Its Named It After

The Carlile Cup Goes to the Man We Name It After: Aussie Pioneer Forbes Carlile
  by Craig Lord, SwimVortex

On December 21, SwimVortex announced its Readers’ Awards and on the cusp of revealing the choices of our SwimVortex Editorial Panel, SwimVortex name its Lifetime Achievement Award after the man who receives the prize in 2015: Forbes Carlile. The prize will from this year onwards be the Carlile Cup.

SwimVortex have, of course, said it many times before: FINA has failed singularly to honor many of the biggest contributors to the sport of Swimming. And writing that line evokes memories of 2008 when the centenary dinner was coming up and I asked who would be at the party. Would Shane Gould, Debbie Meyer, Roland Matthes, Dawn Fraser, Mark Spitz and so on be there? No? Perhaps Forbes Carlile, Don Gambril? No? Well, how about Ada Kok and Mary T. Meagher, Matt Biondi? How about the terrific Greta Anderson? No, no, don’t be silly. It’s not about them, of course not. This is about 100 years of blazers, the seats for swimmers and coaches reserved for those who joined “The Family”. Now, there’s achievement for you.
(more…)