THE JOHN GOODBODY COLUMN
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(SFC) Precisely what occurred in PyeongChang when Adam
Pengilly, a member of the Worldwide Olympic Committee (IOC), obtained into an
altercation with a Korean official might by no means be identified. The IOC doesn’t need
the CCTV footage launched and regards the matter as closed.
Having lined worldwide sports activities occasions for greater than 55
years, I understand how typically one can grow to be pissed off, particularly when one is below
strain, at being advised at venues and lodges that one can’t go someplace, when
it’s clearly sensible so to do.
In a letter to IOC members, Pengilly, a former British
Winter Video games competitor, is alleged to have “exhibited extremely inappropriate behaviour” and “admitted to refusing to observe
the safety course of, having bodily contact with the safety guard and
having sworn at him, which constitutes breaches of the POCOG” (PyeongChang
organising committee) Safety Rules.”
Following a collection of interviews and apologies, Pengilly has
been despatched again to Britain. In actual fact, his eight-year stint as one of many
Athletes’ Consultant on the IOC, having been elected by his fellow
Olympians in 2010, would have ended this week-end in any case. His departure is
I’ve by no means met Pengilly however over the previous few years, I
have recognised and, certainly, applauded his unbiased spirit, saying issues
that must be mentioned publicly –and mentioned loudly.
In 2013, on the Session in Buenos Aires, he requested some
troublesome questions of two of the candidate cities for the 2020 Olympics, Madrid
and Istanbul, whereas the protocol on these events, too typically noticed, is
to lift some mundane factors, which might simply be answered.
Then in 2015, on the Session in Kuala Lumpur, he raised the
stories of the suppression of optimistic dope assessments by the Worldwide
Affiliation of Athletic Federations, whose President Lamine Diack was at that
time additionally an IOC member. This was thought to be not the best strategy in direction of a
fellow IOC member, particularly one who was the pinnacle of the game, which stays
the centrepiece of the Summer season Olympic programme.
But, later that 12 months, Diack was arrested by the French
authorities for allegations that he obtained funds for deferring doping
allegations. Diack subsequently resigned his IOC membership and early in 2016,
a report by the World Anti-Doping Company acknowledged:”Lamine Diack was accountable
for organising and enabling the conspiracy and corruption that occurred.” So
Pengilly merely aired on the assembly opinions that later had been discovered to have some
And most noticeably of all, it was Pengilly, who on the 2016
Session in Rio de Janeiro, was the one IOC member talking out in opposition to the IOC permitting
Russia to compete on the Summer season Video games, preferring that the person sports activities
federations ought to take the choice. This was even supposing Dr. Thomas
Bach, the IOC President, himself had mentioned that what occurred in Sochi on the
2014 Video games confirmed “a stunning and unprecedented assault on the integrity of
sports activities and the Olympic Video games “.
Solely athletics and weightlifting had the moral fibre to
bar Russia from collaborating in Rio, besides in athletics’ case, when opponents
had been subjected to verifiable drug-testing.
When the IOC convenes on Sunday to determine whether or not Russian
athletes might be allowed to participate within the Closing Ceremony below their very own
reasonably than the Olympic flag later that day in PyeongChang, the absence of
Pengilly might be felt. His unbiased voice might be sorely wanted and it might
be left to Dick Pound, an IOC member in Canada, to voice opposition.
One hopes that there might be others. However one wonders. In
current years, IOC Periods have come to symbolize the congresses of
totalitarian states, the place a coverage is agreed beforehand after which everybody
merely falls into line.
** JOHN GOODBODY lined the
2016 Olympics for The Sunday Instances, his 13th successive Summer season Video games and is the
writer of the audio e book A Historical past of the Olympics, learn by Barry Davies, the
BBC commentator. He was Sports activities Information Correspondent of The Instances 1986-2007, for
whom he obtained journalistic awards in all three a long time on the paper,
together with Sports activities Reporter of The 12 months in 2001.
****The views expressed are
the writer’s personal and don’t essentially symbolize the views of Sports activities Options
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