With the International Olympic Committee (IOC) voting this Wednesday, August 3rd, to include Skateboarding and four other sports in the 2020 Summer Olympics, a lawsuit has been filed by the World Skateboarding Federation (WSF) alleging the International Skateboarding Federation (ISF) has continually failed to implement a proper drug testing program.
For most sports entering the Olympic games, doping is a concern of performance enhancement drugs, whether the drugs the Olympics would be testing skaters for are performance enhancing or not, is another article. That being said, the lawsuit between the two skateboarding parties represents another potential deterrent for skateboarding’s admission into the Olympics.
In light of recent events concerning the Russian Government’s involvement in a widespread doping program aimed at helping dozens of doped athletes avoid testing positive for the Olympic games, the concern for proper drug testing is a critical component for any new sport potentially entering the Olympics. The Associated Press reported on July 31st, 2016, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) will only allow one accreditation per sport. Which means the WSF and ISF are now locked in court, with the IOC ultimately making the final decision to include or not include skateboarding in the 2020 Olympic games.
The WSF aims to receive WADA’s accreditation after filing their lawsuit against the ISF, claiming the ISF abruptly canceled scheduled drug testing for several events, including failing to implement a thorough testing program during the annual European X Games. Shots were fired as WSF claimed ISF, nor their president, Gary Ream, has ever conducted a skateboarding contest. The lawsuit also claims Ream attempted to sweeten their chances of accreditation by forming a friendly relationship with Christophe Dubi, the IOC Olympic Games executive director. The lawsuit shows how Ream provided Dubi’s son free-training at Camp Woodward (which Ream owns) and hired a $5,000 a month skateboarding consultant for Dubi.
Whether or not this lawsuit will deter skateboarding from being admitted into The Olympics remains unseen, as Ream told The Associated Press he could not comment on the issue because he had not seen the lawsuit. However, since skateboarders will be mandated to go through proper drug testing, it seems likely to present issues for certain skateboarders hoping to participate in the Olympic games.
Stay tuned for the IOC’s vote this Wednesday to include skateboarding in the 2020 Summer Olympics.
By Zane Foley