Dick Pound, the man who has led the fight against the use of drugs in sport is the winner of the Laureus Spirit of Sport Award after his eight-year struggle against the drug cheats of sport.
Edwin Moses, Chairman of the Laureus World Sports Academy, announced the choice of Pound for this prestigious accolade at the Laureus World Sports Awards in St.Petersburg, Russia.
Canadian Pound helped to found WADA in 1999 and since then he has been in charge of bringing government and sports officials together, to agree on a unified anti-doping code and devise ways to fight drugs in sports.
After receiving the Laureus Spirit of Sport Award, he said: “Winning this Award is fabulous both for me and for the recognition that the Laureus World Sports Academy has thus given to the fight against drugs in sport. I am delighted and honoured to be recognisd by a body of such sporting legends, and it is a wonderful end to my eight years as Chairman of the World Anti-Doping Agency. To be recognised in this way by people who have achieved so much in sport is very special.
“The work of WADA in my time has, of course, not solved the problem of doping in sport but I believe we have made a huge amount of progress down the road to eradicating it completely. I think people right across the world now understand far more clearly that there is this problem in sport and that we all have to work extremely hard to fight it.
“Over the past few years we have seen how a lot of high-profile sportsmen and women have been caught by the anti-doping process, or have acknowledged the increasing effectiveness of the procedures we have in place. It is important to show that it is not just those on the way up who seek to cheat with drugs but some high-profile winners too. These people are heroes to youngsters, but we are showing that there is now nowhere to hide.
“Cheating through using drugs ruins sport for everyone. All the great champions who make up the Laureus Academy have shown in their respective careers that you simply do not have to use drugs to get to the top in sport.”
Thanks to Dick Pound, what began in 1999 as an urgent response to a crisis in sport, has evolved into a global network of committed sports and government authorities and individuals working together to protect athlete health and the integrity of sport.