Pound, Richard W.
Richard W. Pound
CHAIRMAN OF THE WORLD ANTI-DOPING AGENCY, MEMBER OF THE INTERNATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEE, LAWYER
Richard (Dick) Pound is the chairman of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), which is responsible for monitoring athletes for the use of banned substances. Pound is an outspoken advocate of fair play in sports and the need to detect and punish those who use illegal drugs to increase their competitive advantage.
Pound was born in St. Catharines, a small city in Ontario located between Toronto and Niagara Falls. The area is well known as a competitive rowing center. However, Pound pursued swimming. He became the Canadian champion of freestyle in 1958, 1960, 1961, and 1962, and in the butterfly in 1961. Pound was a member of the Canadian Olympic swimming team that competed at the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome. There, he was a finalist in the 100-m freestyle, where he finished sixth, and a member of the 4 × 400 m relay team that finished fourth. Two years later, at the Commonwealth Games held in Perth, Australia, Pound was victorious in the 110-m freestyle, captured silver medals as a member of the 440-m and 880-m relay teams, and was a member of the bronze medal winning 440-m medley relay team.
These swimming accomplishments were recognized by his induction in the Canadian Swimming Hall of Fame.
Following his retirement from competitive swimming, Pound became involved in the administrative side of sports. By 1968, he had become Secretary General of the Canadian Olympic Association, a post he held until 1976. During this time, he acted as the chef de mission of the Canadian team at the infamous 1972 Munich Olympics. From 1977–1982, he served as President of the Canadian Olympic Association. Finally, when WADA was created in 1979, Pound began as its first President, a position he continues to hold as of early 2006.
Pound is also well known for his involvement in the highest levels of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). He was elected to the IOC in 1982 as a member of the executive board. His first term expired in 1991. He served another term from 1992–1996. He also served as vice president of the IOC from 1987–1991 and 1996–2000.
While on the executive board of the IOC, Pound was responsible for negotiations of the broadcast deals for several Winter and Summer Olympics. The lucrative television and sponsorship deals he secured helped transform the IOC into a powerful and influential sports organization.
Pound unsuccessfully pursued the presidency of the IOC in 2001. His outspoken views regarding drugs in sports and the need to reform the IOC proved unpalatable with some delegates, and he finished third in the voting. He subsequently resigned as vice president to devote his energies to his post at WADA. As of 2006, he is still an IOC member.
In his everyday life, Pound is a partner in the Montreal-based law firm Stikeman Elliott LLP, where he practices tax law. Since 1991, he has also been Chancellor of McGill University, his alma mater, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce degree in 1962.
As the chairman of WADA, Pound is responsible for the agency that monitors urine and blood samples for the presence of drugs that have been banned from use, according to the World Anti-Doping Code. This includes the random, unannounced testing of elite athletes outside of competition, and the testing that takes place during competitions such as the Olympics. As well, WADA provides funding to develop or refine technologies to enable the detection of substances that are currently undetectable. The organization is also involved in determining which drugs will be banned from use by athletes, and which substances are permissible.
Under Pound's leadership, WADA has changed the face of sports. Efforts to restrict the illicit use of drugs as a boost to athletic performance have become popular. Despite this turnabout in society's attitude toward drugs in sport, Pound's often blunt criticism of "doping" continues to be provocative. As one example, his public comments in late 2005 on the prevalence of performance-enhancing drugs in the National Hockey League have been harshly denied by league executives and player representatives.
In recognition of his accomplishments as an Olympian athlete and executive, Pound became an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1992 and an Officer of the National Order of Quebec in 1993.