Pernilla Wiberg to address Bode Miller on doping stance
Pernilla Wiberg to address Bode Miller on doping stanceFormer Swedish alpine star Pernilla Wiberg, a member of the International Olympic Committee, plans to talk to Bode Miller about his recent comments about what he calls the shortcomings of the anti-doping effort.
Wiberg, a member of the IOC’s Athletes’ Commission, hopes to check with Miller that his comments were accurately reported, and then remind him that he is a role model.
‘I will definitely talk to him’ said Wiberg on Wednesday at the IOC headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland. ‘Because for youngsters he is a big idol. … He is a great skier, and he’s going to be for many years to come.’
Miller has been outspoken about what he says is the hypocrisy and ineffectiveness of the anti-doping effort. In early October, he argued that there were situations where blood-boosting drugs such as EPO might be beneficial to an athlete’s health.
Miller is sticking to his guns, and on Tuesday in his online journal he reiterated some of the points he made to a group of journalists last week before the Soelden World Cup opener, where he finished second.
‘I’m going to keep pushing my viewpoint’ Miller wrote. ‘I think our drug-testing policies are ridiculous and need to change.’
Wiberg, the 1997 overall World Cup champion, is not sure when she’ll talk to Miller, the 2005 overall World Cup champion.
‘I was in Soelden, but I did not have the possibility to talk to him’ Wiberg said.
Since then, the Swedish winner of 25 World Cup races has been in Lausanne, in meetings with the IOC Athletes’ Commission, which is chaired by pole-vaulting legend Sergey Bubka.
According to the IOC’s Web site, the Athletes’ Commission Representatives from the Athletes’ Commission exists to ‘express the athletes’ point of view, notably on doping, women in the Olympic Movement and the environment.’
Wiberg also said that her countrywoman Anja Paerson looks strong this year, but will have to work hard to hold off Janica Kostelic, Tanja Poutiainen and Tina Maze as Paerson seeks to reclaim the overall World Cup title for the third straight season.
Wiberg doesn’t know when or how she’ll contact Miller. And she doesn’t want to come down too hard on him.
‘You can never tell someone what they can say, or can’t say, in western countries’ she said.