2013-09-04 18.36.48


The vision thing

BUENOS AIRES — The intrigue, the mystery, the drama of the history-making 125th International Olympic Committee session got underway Wednesday, and though there are three essential decisions to be taken here — the 2020 Summer Games site, wrestling’s all-but-inevitable reinstatement and the election of the new president — there is one that overrides everything.

It’s that last one, the selection of the new president. Jacques Rogge’s 12 years as president are all but done. The IOC is about to turn to a new era.


Turkey’s awful doping scandal

LONDON — Most of the news accounts about the 31 Turkish track and field athletes hit Monday with two-year bans for doping have centered on four main points:

One: Istanbul is in the race for the 2020 Summer Games, along with Madrid and Tokyo. The International Olympic Committee will choose the winner Sept. 7. To be blunt, the timing for Istanbul is not good. Lamine Diack, the president of track and field’s international governing body, which goes by the acronym IAAF, has said, “They cannot bid for the Olympics if they cannot control their athletes. They need to clean their house.”


Like air in the tires or water in the bottles

My first nine years at the Los Angeles Times were spent covering hard news. The 1990s were incredible years to be a news reporter in Southern California: wildfires, earthquakes (Thursday marked the 19th anniversary of the devastating Northridge quake), riots, the Menendez brothers and, of course, the O.J. Simpson matter.

When I moved over to the sports section in 1998, and almost immediately started covering the Olympic movement, a friend at the New York Times told me, referring to the athletes I was now covering, “You know, they’re all doping.”


Toward a “robust” anti-doping testing program

It was with great fanfare earlier this year, upon the unveiling of the London anti-doping laboratory, that organizers said a record 6,250 doping tests would be carried out at the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics.

That’s up from 5,600 in Beijing four years ago, an 11.6 percent jump. In opening the facility, London 2012 chief executive Paul Deighton praised the commitment to a “robust testing system” and declared, “Our message to any athlete thinking about doping is simple — we’ll catch you.”