The IOC president, Thomas Bach // IOC

The IOC president, Thomas Bach // IOC

Doping

Congress, yet again, proves Mark Twain right

“Suppose,” the American author and humorist Mark Twain once said, “you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.”

The United States House of Representatives, which can’t agree on gun control legislation or pretty much anything, makes it a priority in the doldrums of a Washington summer to weigh in on issues sparked by allegations of doping in international sport?

Yulia Stepanova, competing under her maiden name, at the 2011 IAAF world championship 800-meter semifinals // Getty Images

Yulia Stepanova, competing under her maiden name, at the 2011 IAAF world championship 800-meter semifinals // Getty Images

Doping

WADA did not just sit idly by

Fat headlines are fun. A rush to judgment can feel so exhilarating. Yet serious decisions demand facts and measured judgment.

To believe the headlines, to take in the rush, one would believe that the World Anti-Doping Agency sat around for the better part of four years and did nothing amid explosive allegations of state-sponsored doping in Russia sparked in large measure by the whistleblower Vitaliy Stepanov, a former Russian doping control officer, and his wife, Yulia, a world-class middle-distance runner.

Jenn Suhr, the 2012 Olympic champion, winning 2016 world indoor gold // Getty Images for IAAF

Jenn Suhr, the 2012 Olympic champion, winning 2016 world indoor gold // Getty Images for IAAF

Track and field

Coe in charge, track at an inflection point

PORTLAND, Ore. — Let’s get the joke out of the way early. For a sport savaged by months of doping stories, it turns out there’s a legal marijuana store literally across the street from the Oregon Convention Center, site of the 2016 track and field world indoor championship, which features a groovy, granola-crunchy green track. Can’t make this stuff up.

Seriously, now: track and field arrives for the 2016 world indoors, a four-day run that got underway Thursday night, at an inflection point.

MONACO - NOVEMBER 26:  Lord Sebastian Coe, President of the IAAF answers questions from the media during a press conference following the IAAF Council Meeting at the Fairmont Monte Carlo Hotel on November 26, 2015 in Monaco, Monaco.  (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

MONACO - NOVEMBER 26: Lord Sebastian Coe, President of the IAAF answers questions from the media during a press conference following the IAAF Council Meeting at the Fairmont Monte Carlo Hotel on November 26, 2015 in Monaco, Monaco. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

Track and field

Sebastian Coe is the answer, not the problem

If you have seen Fight Club, the 1999 movie with Brad Pitt and Edward Norton (New York Times: “surely the defining cult movie of our time”), or, better yet, read the 1996 Chuck Palahniuk novel that inspired it, you know the elemental first rule of Fight Club: you do not talk about Fight Club.

This is the key to understanding what happened at track and field’s international governing body, the IAAF, in regards to doping in Russia (mostly) and cover-ups, and as a spur going forward, because institutional, governance and cultural changes must be enacted to ensure that what happened under the watch of the former IAAF president, Lamine Diack, can never happen again.