Canada’s Pound assigned Olympic broadcast role
LONDON (AP) — After years on the outside looking in, Dick Pound is back with a new role in the International Olympic Committee.
In the latest reshuffle by new IOC President Thomas Bach, the Canadian was handed a key front-line position Friday in Olympic broadcasting.
Pound is the new chairman of the board of Olympic Broadcasting Services, which serves as the host broadcaster for all Olympics. Created by the IOC in 2001, OBS provides a global feed of every sport from every venue.
Pound replaces Hein Verbruggen, the former Dutch IOC member and ex-president of international cycling federation UCI. Pound and Verbruggen were bitter rivals who feuded over cycling’s doping problems.
Pound has a strong background in television. As head of the IOC’s TV rights negotiations from 1983-2001, he brokered several lucrative television rights deals with American networks.
The 73-year-old Pound is a former IOC vice president and ex-head of the World Anti-Doping Agency. He ran unsuccessfully for IOC president in 2001.
Pound resigned as chairman of the IOC marketing commission and as TV rights negotiator after losing to Jacques Rogge in the presidential vote. He remained out of the IOC’s inner circle during Rogge’s 12-year term, but has sought to climb back into the higher levels since Bach’s election in September.
Pound ran for the policy-making executive board in September and February but fell short. Friday’s appointment shows that Bach wants to have Pound in the fold.
Longtime Olympic TV executive Manolo Romero of Spain will serve as vice chairman of OBS.
Other OBS board members include IOC members Juan Antonio Samaranch Jr. of Spain and Gerardo Werthein of Argentina. IOC administrators Christophe De Kepper, Gilbert Felli, Timo Lumme and Lana Haddad are also on the board.
Pound, an IOC member since 1978, headed WADA from 1999-2008 and served as an IOC vice president from 1987-1991 and 1996-2000.
There is a twist of irony in the selection of Pound to succeed Verbruggen. As WADA chief, Pound sharply criticized Verbruggen and the UCI for cycling’s record on doping, including the treatment of Lance Armstrong. Verbruggen sued Pound for defamation, but the dispute was eventually settled out of court.
Pound’s elevation to the OBS job is the latest move by Bach to put his own stamp on the IOC. On Tuesday, the German made appointments to the marketing, finance, anti-doping and other IOC commissions.
Separately Friday, Bach announced appointments to the foundation board of the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland. The members are IOC Vice President Yu Zaiqing of China, executive board member Ugur Erdener of Turkey and honorary member Kipchoge Keino of Kenya.