WADA girl, that Beckie

TERRY JONES -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 7:25 AM ET

Beckie Scott has guts. She has gold. And now she has a new job.

She calls 'em like she sees 'em. She called the two girls on the podium ahead of her at the Salt Lake City Olympics drug cheats. And she called Canada's IOC member Richard Pound, who was taking over the World Anti-Doping Agency, essentially an ostrich with his head in the sand if not totally up his butt.

WADA girl, this Beckie Scott.

Yesterday she was in Vermilion, her first visit to her home-town since her Olympic medal had been upgraded to gold. It was also her first day as one of 13 members nominated to WADA's newly formed athlete committee.

"I'm excited about it," she said after a session with school children.

"It's needed," she said of athletes being involved. "I'm optimistic of what can be achieved. I think this is a good idea."

NAIVE COMMENTS

That was obvious when Scott blew the whistle on her sport at the Salt Lake Olympics and called Pound on his ridiculously naive comments suggesting she was certainly exaggerating about the amount of drugs in cross-country skiing.

"Yes, that definitely happened," she said, not letting Pound off the hook, even at this late date and after he had something to do with making her one of the 13 athletes named to the committee

"Hopefully things have changed," was all she would give him.

Scott doesn't think this will change the way other athletes look at her.

"It's not a whistle-blowing responsibility," she said.

She's already blown the whistle.

And she blew it again yesterday.

"There is still a lot of work to be done in our sport," she said.

"We still have a long way to go."

Has there been any improvement?

"It's hard to say. It's still a problem."

Scott is watching the baseball steroid scandal with interest.

Again, inside the athletic community, she says it's no great shock.

"The thing with it being baseball is so many kids grow up admiring baseball players and wanting to be like them. They have a heavy responsibility to youth. As is the case with the Olympics, it needs to be dealt with effectively.

LEGITIMACY NEEDED

"Legitimacy has to be brought back. If athletes are to be held up as heroes and idols, there can't be questions about the legitimacy of their accomplishments. You can't hold them up as idols if they've been cheating."

Scott talked to Vermilion youth about being able "to get from a little town of Vermilion to the Olympic podium."

She didn't bring her gold medal, but says she's going to Torino believing she could make it to the podium again.

"It doesn't seem like it should be the Olympics again already. It's four years, but time flies. I feel great. After taking the entire summer off training, I came back and had respectable performances.

"I had a top 10 in just about every race. I know what I need to do now and it's just a matter of going and doing it."


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