<
>

Pound might take influential position as CAS president

LONDON -- Dick Pound is considering a new job in the Olympic
movement.


Pound, who steps down as WADA chief in November, said Monday he
is a candidate to become the president of the Court of Arbitration
for Sport, the highest tribunal in the sports world.


Pound, a longtime lawyer and senior International Olympic
Committee member from Canada, said the CAS position would be a
natural fit after seven years as head of the World Anti-Doping
Agency.


"It's closer to what I actually do for a living than anything
that I've ever done for the IOC," he told The Associated Press.
"I'd certainly be willing to do it."


The CAS post has been vacant since Senegalese judge Keba Mbaye --
the body's only president since its creation in 1984 -- died Jan. 11
at age 82.


President of WADA since its inception in late 1999, Pound has
won admirers for his aggressive, tough-talking stance against
doping in sports. But he has also drawn fire from critics who
accuse him of prejudging cases and smearing athletes without proof.


Pound said he first discussed the possibility of becoming CAS
president after leaving WADA with IOC president Jacques Rogge late
last year.


"After Keba Mbaye died, the thing accelerated," he said. "It
became more real than theoretical. One way or the other I'm sure
they'll find something for me."


Pound said, if appointed, he could take over "reasonably soon"
during the final months of his WADA mandate.


Pound has been a lawyer since 1968, serving in various fields,
including arbitration. He is a tax litigation specialist with
Montreal-based law firm Stikeman Elliott.


"I think I'm of the few practicing lawyers in the IOC these
days who actually get up in court," he said in a telephone
interview. "It's a natural progression. You go from being a lawyer
to being a judge."


Rogge told the French sports daily L'Equipe on Monday that the
IOC has "several candidates, including Dick Pound," for the CAS
job. He didn't identify the others.


Rogge said he would confer with the IOC executive board, which
next meets in Beijing on April 25-27, and propose a candidate to
the International Court of Arbitration for Sport, which oversees
CAS.


Pound said it's possible the IOC could nominate someone from
outside the organization to try to make CAS as independent as
possible.


CAS, which is based in Lausanne, Switzerland, appoints
arbitrators to rule on sports disputes, including doping cases. The
organization has nearly 300 arbitrators from 87 countries and
handles about 200 cases a year. During the Olympics, CAS sets up a
special panel to rule on disputes within 24 hours.


The president of CAS is a type of chief executive officer who
oversees day-to-day operations and the assignment of arbitrators.
The president does not have to be based in Lausanne and Pound said,
if appointed, he would still live in Montreal.


Pound would recuse himself from any cases that came to CAS under
his watch at WADA.


"If there is a case that predates my appointment, I should play
no part in the outcome of the proceedings," he said. "That's
pretty standard."


Pound's WADA term expires at the world anti-doping conference in
Madrid, Nov. 15-17. French sports minister Jean-Francois Lamour is
the leading candidate to replace him.


Last month, the IOC's ethics commission chastised Pound for
comments made last year about doping allegations against seven-time
Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong. The panel said Pound should
be more "careful" with his words.


"Dick Pound is an excellent president of WADA and will leave a
very positive legacy," Rogge said. "Unfortunately he has made
many enemies among international federations and certain sports
organizations. We asked him to be more prudent in his comments on
ongoing cases. But I repeat: he has done excellent work."