Matchfixing in the Belgian League

Discussion in 'The Netherlands' started by Brilliant Dutch, Oct 12, 2018.

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  1. Brilliant Dutch

    Brilliant Dutch BigSoccer Yellow Card

    Oct 14, 2013
    Amsterdam, Holland
  2. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
  3. Blondo

    Blondo Member+

    Sep 21, 2013
    Wow, the Dutch aren't even trying to sniff out the doping industry. Quite the difference with Belgium. What's more, doping control and testing is very much a priority over here. Maybe it's because cycling is huge in Belgium? I didn't look into it. IIRC Belgium ranks 4th in the world regarding the amount of doping controls. The more you look the better your chances at catching the cheats. It isn't unusual for crime statistics to show a higher number of offenders because you're doing a good job going after them. In Belgium even amateurs/recreational sportsmen are tested. An amateur bodybuilder, a cycling tourist, ... they all show up in the statistics even though it's far cry from top sports. In cycling there were a few famous cases but hardly any among the top quality athletes. After the Russian doping scandal we even were awarded extra Olympic medals and in the next Olympics Belgium won more medals than prior to the scandal (after a crackdown/doping scare things get a bit cleaner/fairer for a short while).
     
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  4. Blondo

    Blondo Member+

    Sep 21, 2013
    @Brilliant Dutch - operation clean hands (the recent scandal in the Belgian league) did uncover 2 matches from last season's relegation battle that are suspect but the scandal is more about agents and their shady business than it is about matchfixing. It's a massive problem in football, better regulation of agents is needed. The silver lining for Belgian football is that the mess will be cleaned up, the scandal forces authorities and football-loving Belgium to act asap. 6 agents now are suspects but I'm surprised the likes of D'Onofrio (he was Zidane's agent back when he was playing, he has been sentenced before and he's linked to Mendes), Fali ramadani and Pini Zahavi (Neymar's 222M transfer, helped Abramovich buy Chelsea, played a decisive role in the sale of Manchester City) aren't suspects as they're very much active in Belgium and then even at one of the most fishy clubs, Mouscron.

    The scandal is closer to this one:



    Oddly, the authorities in the UK, including the ones in football, have a lot more resources, completely eclipsing Belgium's firepower. Yet how much has been done in the UK? Last I heard it was another newspaper sting (which led to Allardyce's dismissal). The lack of results is a stain on their do-nothing authorities.
     
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  5. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    There is not much difference (if at all) with regards to testing at elite level. It is better to do 500 right and state of the art than 1000 incomplete (= window dressing).

    Check also how many times Belgium has popped up in watchlists and blacklists (by wada) and how many times Netherlands. The supranational bodies have put more asterisks on Belgium (but not as many as Spain, Russia, Brazil, Argentina et al.). That is for sure.

    You are right though that too little is done at lower levels and recreational levels.

    As for priorities: Rotterdam has the largest port in Europe and Schiphol is top three or top five airport. What happens without priorities has been visible at various ports in the past (including Antwerp, Hamburg, Rotterdam).

    Check the rankings for corruption and rule of law systems (largely because of Wallonia, I know).
     
  6. Blondo

    Blondo Member+

    Sep 21, 2013
    Not much difference? Sorry, I very much doubt that there are no (or not much) differences between countries. Australia can have the best labs in the world but what use are those when they simply look the other way. During the scandal over there they uncovered structural abuse. That sort of abuse is far more common in countries that value sports a lot more than e.g. in Belgium (where a career in any sport is still somewhat frowned upon, a silly pursuit, pushing you to focus on academics instead). Holland seems to be a bit like Australia, one of the countries that looks the other way, hardly makes an effort, because sports and results are valued more highly. Didn't Holland perform poorly in the Olympics after the Russian doping scandal? Yes, they did. Maybe it's about time Holland went after doping cheats and conducted a serious investigation.

    Belgium has been watched by WADA for what was basically nothing. Because sports (and doping) is dealt with on community level in Belgium the Dutch, French and German-speaking communities have to pay for their own state-of-the-art anti-doping labs (labs that are in line with WADA requirements). No worries for the two largest communities (where the top athletes live) but the German-speaking community consists of a handful of small villages. It would be extremely wasteful to hand a state-of-the-art facility to a region of 75K people (and only a fraction of them are sportsmen), Seeing the German-speaking community isn't more populous than a small city they're covered by nearby labs.
     
  7. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    #7 PuckVanHeel, Oct 16, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2018
    I'd say this is a high level of unsubstantiated assumption and presumed causality.

    That Anglosaxon countries place a high value on sports with a "you don't win silver but lose gold" mentality is no secret. Netherlands isn't an Anglosaxon country, Australia is. The school system is not comparable to Australia, Britain or United States.

    Actual scientific research has shown that - for example - the pride for sporting achievements rank (just like Belgium) on the lower end of the scale, in stark contrast to the Anglosaxon sporting nations, and also a lot lower than the Scandinavian countries (Sweden, Norway). Research by Evans and Kelly (2002) on national pride has demonstrated a strong effect for the English speaking nations, and also confirmed Netherlands as being on the low end of the spectrum (also lower than other 'small' countries as Norway, Sweden, Austria, Bulgaria, Hungary, New Zealand, Ireland).


    With regards to football, I'll point at UEFA research:

    [​IMG]

    And Repucom/Nielsen:

    [​IMG]



    Does that point at a particularly high obsession? Is there really a so high gulf between Holland and Belgium? Belgium has actually dedicated sporting schools (as you know, the 'topsportschool') and is in that more advanced than the Netherlands - and also more akin to the Anglosaxon countries in how high performance sports is integrated into the school system.

    No they didn't do poorly (compared to previous results). What is that for mirage?
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Netherlands_at_the_Olympics#Medals_by_Summer_Games


    Fair enough, but it still true Netherlands hasn't been on that list (and predecessors) at any time for the past 30 years (before WADA there was IOC) unlike 'usual suspects' as Spain, Russia, Ukraine, Israel, Finland, Norway, Germany.... I don't say there are no problems and room for improvement - in particular at recreational level Belgium does a better job (the same cannot be said about the judicial system and general corruption/bribery) - but Netherlands is relatively speaking a quite clean country. There are also no Cologne, Madrid incidents where a lab does both the testing and making the designer drugs.

    Likewise, as mentioned by me in the previous post, Belgium has not (nearly) the same number of asterisks by supranational bodies as Brazil et al. (where even Interpol have things to say about that).
     
  8. Blondo

    Blondo Member+

    Sep 21, 2013
    About your graphs: a bit lightweight. Not expecting a thesis but you could simply compare the amount of registered football players in Holland and Belgium. It's a massive gap that can't be explained by Holland's slightly bigger population. Holland definitely is more of a sport mad country. At the Olympics, as well, it would bother Holland a lot more if medals were lacking.

    https://nos.nl/artikel/2127431-hend...tal-medailles-trots-op-gouden-prestaties.html

    Turns out it's only one medal less. TBF with how much was written about Holland's disappointing results, the "loserflight", etc. you'd think it was worse but it was actually Holland failing to meet expectations.

    OTOH Belgium exceeded expectations, doubled its medal haul and those medals were won in major sports, even in blue riband events (like Timmers in the men's 100 metres freestyle). Van Avermaet also won gold in a sport for which the Olympics aren't the most important event and that's popular over here (cycling). And the men's field hockey team even won silver in a sport that nobody in Belgium cares about. Despite having a lot less medals than Holland it was a success. Belgians aren't that bothered by frivolous games. Besides cycling, Belgium's best results at the Olympics were achieved in archery, equestrian, sailing, fencing, ... posh "sports" because "sweaty" sports are for countries that actually embrace that sort of vulgarity.

    @PuckVanHeel I'm trying to humour you. You're the one that provided the article on Holland's lax attitude towards the doping industry after all. Besides aren't you the guy that's fond of conspiracy theories? You seem to cherish a few about Belgium but why not Holland? How about Daphne Schippers, is she a doping cheat? Currently Holland doesn't have that many top athletes but she'll do. How about football? I've read there were plenty of doping sinners in Dutch clubs, including the golden generations of the 70s, basically everybody was using, and late 90s (Frank de Boer, Edgar Davids, Jaap Stam, Beetje Nandrolon). Seedorf's abs :) come on now. Sneijder "training" with a juiced fighter in Turkey. Going from what LVG called a "severe lack of fitness" to "he scored off the charts" in a fitness test at Oranje. And would it surprise you if he sinned in 2010 as well? He didn't accomplish much before or after. Etc., etc.

    [​IMG]

    Well, if you rather do Belgium I'll give you cycling. It's cycling so not exactly earth-shattering to find doping cases (TBF British riders have taken the limelight). Not that many cheats in other sports though, at least not at the top. Again, the bulk of doping sinners in Belgium are amateurs/recreational sportsmen and, together with a more proactive approach towards doping control than other countries, it's that group that inflates the numbers (TBF cycling being so popular will also help inflate the numbers).
     
  9. Brilliant Dutch

    Brilliant Dutch BigSoccer Yellow Card

    Oct 14, 2013
    Amsterdam, Holland
    Doping I dont have a problem with. Athletes should be allowed to take all the dope and steroids that they want. Its their body after all.

    Do we judge Keith Richards on his music despite he's doped up on heroin half the time??
     
  10. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    Holland has indeed twice as many male members, and a 50% higher population.

    I think this is however more explained by that Netherlands is a more association ('vereniging') driven country in general, rather than exceptionally sports mad. 9 out of 10 Dutchmen are members of one or more associations, one of the highest in the world - not just sports.

    It is just the way how things are done in general. That this isn't an empty shell is further proven by the volunteering rates (up there with Sweden) and the charity statistics (among the most generous countries in the world). The KNVB has also relatively many veteran members.

    Another thing to explain this is the difference between the French speaking part of Belgium and the Dutch speaking part. As you know, your football is more skewed towards the latter.


    Excuse me, which conspiracy theories have I said about Belgium here? I'm for a part Belgian myself and generally support them.

    And what is it? Are flagged cases evidence for a rotten system, or can it show some transparency as well? You can't say that for Belgium it shows a good system while for Netherlands it doesn't. Netherlands is not like 1990s Italy and Juventus that just destroyed samples (and saved them for others).

    Reality is that Netherlands has not been on the lists of Wada, Interpol etc. in contrast to the familiar row of nations. That is the bottom-line. The justice system is ranked top 5 in the world and the corruption is good too (the business corruption even perhaps #1 in the world).
     
  11. Blondo

    Blondo Member+

    Sep 21, 2013
    I don't even follow the top Dutch athletes closely and yet it wasn't hard to name offenders. Granted, for Belgium it wouldn't be hard to find examples from cycling (but then again it's cycling and it would be more surprising to find a relevant cycling country without sinners). Outside of cycling it's much harder to point your finger at household names from Belgium that used doping though (while it was very easy to come up with some of the Dutch offenders). Again, at the top Belgian athletes are relatively clean, or it would be much easier to name the offenders, and the numbers are inflated because Belgium is one of the countries that puts in the most effort, including testing recreational "sportsmen". As far as you say Holland has "a rotten system", I didn't say that, but I do think Holland could put more effort in. In articles, like the one you posted, I wouldn't be reading that Holland wasn't looking at all/needed dumb luck. You'd expect a much bigger effort, especially from a country that cares about sport, yet it seems those countries care more about not harming their sports/heroes.
     
  12. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    Sigh... You are merely trolling and posing cheap conjecture and assumptions. Your examples and 'offenders' are for the most part also merely hypothetical examples.
     
  13. Blondo

    Blondo Member+

    Sep 21, 2013
    Pot/kettle

    Holland's "anti"-doping agency couldn't be any clearer. While Holland is the more populous country there are far more doping tests in Belgium (even in your local gym). Most of the violations are committed by bodybuilders, weightlifters, cyclists of course, ... and guess what: amateurs like doping, a lot. Holland hardly looking for offenders is at least a bit rotten. In your article they didn't look at all, that's quite rotten.

    At least that's something, I guess. Still it isn't for the most part hypothetical cases, but mostly those who failed doping tests, served a ban, admitted to using, ... a short article for the older generations, including '74 and '78, up to the Nandrolone doping scandal: https://nos.nl/artikel/574655-doping-was-schering-en-inslag.html ... Why even deny the few "hypothetical" cases when you seemed to enjoy this sort of nonsense in older threads?
     
  14. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    No. Not at all.
     
  15. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    Okay, I will go over some of the things Blondo has posted but bottomline is still that many countries have popped up at watchlists but Netherlands has not.

    If I'd like to troll, here something more ;)

    België op één na meest corrupte land van West-Europa
    BERLIJN (reuter/afp) - Na Italië is België het meest corrupte land in West-Europa. Dat blijkt uit een lijst die de anti-corruptieorganisatie Transparency International (TI) donderdag heeft gepubliceerd. Nigeria, Bolivië, Colombia en Rusland zijn de meest corrupte, de Scandinavische landen de minst corrupte landen ter wereld. België staat pas 26ste op de lijst van de minst corrupte landen en laat ook Griekenland (25ste) en Spanje (24ste) voorgaan.
    TI is in Berlijn gevestigd en is een organisatie die bestaat uit een dozijn economisten, universitairen en specialisten in opiniepeilingen, hoofdzakelijk uit Duitsland en de VS. De lijst geeft weer hoe zakenmensen, politieke analisten en de publieke opinie denken over de graad van corruptie in hun land. Slechts 52 landen gaven voldoende gegevens vrij, zodat het lang niet zeker is dat Nigeria het meest corrupte land ter wereld is.
    Volgens TI is corruptie niet alleen een fenomeen van Derde Wereldlanden. De organisatie verwijst bijvoorbeeld naar België om deze stelling te staven. Kijk maar eens hoe België het afgelopen jaar in het nieuws is geweest met allerlei corruptieschandalen. Corruptie is in België één van de belangrijkste bekommernissen geworden in de publieke opinie, stelt TI-voorzitter en gewezen directeur van de Wereldbank Peter Eigen.
    Singapore daarentegen is veel minder corrupt. Het is het negende minst corrupte land van de 52 onderzochte staten, voegt Eigen er aan toe. Eigen verwijst naar deze stad-staat om aan te tonen dat de link tussen democratie en de graad van corruptie niet altijd even duidelijk is.
    Op een schaal van 0 tot 10 - van meest tot minst corrupt - haalde Nigeria een score van 1,76, waarmee het net als vorig jaar de lijst aanvoert. Bolivië en Colombia volgen met een score van respectievelijk 2,05 en 2,23. Rusland, Pakistan, Mexico, Indonesië, India, Venezuela en Vietnam vervolledigen in die volgorde de top-10.
    De Scandinavische landen zijn het meest corruptievrij. Denemarken is daarbij koploper met 9,94, gevolgd door Finland (9,48) en Zweden (9,34). Nieuw-Zeeland viel van de eerste plaats terug naar de vierde met een score van 9,23. Canada, Nederland, Noorwegen, Australië, Singapore en Luxemburg bezetten de plaatsen van vijf tot tien.
    Volgens TI wakkeren westerse multinationals de corruptie in Derde Wereldlanden aan. Zij aarzelen niet om smeergeld te betalen om bepaalde contracten binnen te rijven. Ook sommige westerse landen zoals Duitsland doen daar aan mee. Ze laten bedrijven toe smeergeld aan buitenlandse bedrijven te laten registreren als nuttige uitgaven die kunnen worden afgetrokken van de belastingen.

    ;)
     
  16. Orange14

    Orange14 Moderator
    Staff Member

    Apr 27, 2007
    Bethesda, MD
    Club:
    AFC Ajax
    Nat'l Team:
    Netherlands
    Does this view extend to athletes under the age of 18? One only needs to look at what went on in East Germany during the 1970s to see what kinds of damage PEDs can do to young bodies. I would argue that even many adults are not adequately able to understand what these drugs are doing to one's body.
     
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  17. Brilliant Dutch

    Brilliant Dutch BigSoccer Yellow Card

    Oct 14, 2013
    Amsterdam, Holland
    Fair point, but at some degree you have to let athletes do what they want IMO.

    They are gonna do it anyways
     
  18. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    What you propose is the same as Formula One without regulations on engine size and such. It is impossible, even mechanical sports have them.

    The problem is indeed not so much athletes using it and pushing boundaries, but the governance and maintenance of the whole thing. FIFA sending secret letters to one FA (in 1966) and then banning others (in 1974 and 1978) is classic... FIFA.
     
  19. Orange14

    Orange14 Moderator
    Staff Member

    Apr 27, 2007
    Bethesda, MD
    Club:
    AFC Ajax
    Nat'l Team:
    Netherlands
    If so then have separate leagues for those who want to use PEDs and those who want to stay clean.
     
  20. Blondo

    Blondo Member+

    Sep 21, 2013
    Your bottomline, can't tell if that's the case because I don't keep track of Holland like you do with Belgium. I'm also no goody two-shoes waving his little finger at those naughty boys sitting on WADA's watchlist. Besides it was such a non-issue that Belgium (well, not Belgium but Europe's best-protected minority, Belgium's tiny German Community) wasn't declared non-compliant in the first place and never had to be reinstated. This bit was already adressed and you conceded. Probably because you already knew but wanted to mislead?

    I've seen you use similar trolls in the past. E.g. accusing D'Hooghe while you knew/should have known that he was exonerated and that the ones who had wrongfully charged him were FIFA crooks, the ones who were apprehended after an investigation by the FBI. In case you didn't know D'Hooghe voted against Qatar's bid and alarmed FIFA Council, then ExCo, about the health hazards of Qatar's heat (if his warning had been heeded there wouldn't be such a high number of deaths or a winter WC), ..., his easiest job was catching Maradona doping in 1994. To give another example, you once claimed the Belgians were responsible for the Holland/Belgium 2018 bid not being clean while Garcia had already said it was a clean bid. Later Garcia's report was published in full and what we already knew was confirmed. Yet by that time the KNVB had been panicking about their messy administration, while it required no effort from the KBVB to offer complete transparency, and in the end the Dutch taxpayer was unnecessarily presented with the bill for an audit that also found nothing wrong with the Holland/Belgium bid.

    There are more examples and often it's you bashing Belgium for whatever reason, maybe because you're part Belgian, as you said, and have a funny way of supporting us. Belgians are fond of self-deprecating humour but being part Belgian doesn't mean you can leave the humour part out, if anything, in your case it's better to leave the self-deprecating part out. Nah, I'm usually a good sport, whatever tickles your pickle, go for it.
     
  21. Blondo

    Blondo Member+

    Sep 21, 2013
    @PuckVanHeel Not keeping a promise (to "go over some of the things Blondo has posted"), shows a lack of integrity. The main point is that Holland doesn't look (e.g. your own article) or can put in more effort to look for offenders. In some countries, including Holland, they simply like to seem rather than to be clean.

    After adopting Holland's approach, i.e. fewer doping tests, India's athletes all of a sudden got "cleaner" (mind-boggling, isn't it). Brazil, one of the world's most populous countries, tested just over 1000 samples the year before the Rio 2016 Olympics. That's only a fraction of the samples tested in Belgium in the same year. Didn't say Holland are the worst however you cannot but agree there's plenty of room for improvement (to your credit, you did agree):

    Holland had 242 athletes in Rio = roughly 225% x Belgium's numbers
    Yet the year before less than 2000 samples were tested in Holland = roughly 25% x Belgium's numbers.
    TBF Holland would have to carry out 4.5x as many tests, over 9000, to be as thorough as Belgium. Contrary to Belgium, doping control is left to the sports industry in Holland and they aren't inclined to throw much money at something that can do serious harm to their reputation. I even recall reading about no samples being tested because of a complete lack of funds (silver lining: not a single doping offender). In that case you need to be gullible to claim "Netherlands is relatively speaking a quite clean country". At best it's much harder to tell or you can say "Holland seems..." but not everything is as it seems.

    Not only is Belgian doping control very thorough but Belgium is also more bothered about being instead of seeming clean, about the health of Belgians. That's why for example you shouldn't be surprised that tests are carried out in your local gym. Well, it's the suspect gyms that are targetted and about 20% of those tests are positive (even 60% in some gyms). People who have no serious interest in sports but who simply go to the gym could have snorted cocaine, smoked joint or just like to look ripped on instagram, still they'll show up in the numbers. Nobody is forced but if you decline a test it's counted as a doping case (this accounts for about 1/4 of Belgium's cases). There's more that skews the numbers but the TL;DR is that you'd be wrong to claim the top level athletes are popping pills. Intuitively, you could check household names and you'd see that, unlike Holland's golden generations of the 70s or late 90s, Belgium's current golden generation is clean.
     
  22. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    Here you already go wrong: I said in my very first post that Belgium had/has not nearly the same number of asterisks as more obvious countries. So no misleading from my side. In contrast to you who equate the sports madness with Australia. I provided evidence for why that is not true.

    It is you who is dishonest here, already at the very first paragraph.
     
  23. Blondo

    Blondo Member+

    Sep 21, 2013
    I've only heard about that one time ("Check also how many times" = misleading) and I'll say it again: Belgium wasn't declared non-compliant in the first place and never had to be reinstated. Otherwise, if indeed Belgium had to be reinstated, I would have admitted that Belgium, not looked but, was as shady as you worded it. But again, it was a non-issue.
     
  24. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    #24 PuckVanHeel, Oct 18, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2018
    Calm down. I simply had not the time yet to fully go over and complete the reply. It will come.

    Yes, it was my own article - as I said a lot can be improved.

    You in your first reply turn it into a 'Belgium is better' reply. Then I just point at the facts, what the supranational lists and organizations say (and I wasn't claiming at all Belgium does categorically worse, I immediately said too they do some things 'better').

    The facts being that it is better to do 500 tests right, than 1000 (including recreational and non-organized level) half-good with loopholes in the system. Your own country has accused prince Merode of covering up things (Jean-Marie Dedecker: "Ik heb meegemaakt dat ze schandalen in de doofpot staken" - another interview speaks about the influence of 'haute finance'...). No wonder fewer citizens trust the government (in Italy et al. it is even less).

    It is maybe not true, and highly unlikely that it happens more often than Brazil and Spain, but therefore it matters what the international rankings say. Those rankings and lists are clear, with regards to the justice systems, the business corruption and overall corruption, the WADA and IOC lists of the past 30 years (where e.g. Portugal, Germany, Spain, Russia etc. have appeared but Netherlands not - and Belgium, as said, not nearly with the same number of asterisks).

    That makes it obvious Netherlands is not the first country to look at, and if anything Belgium does not categorically better. That 'watchlisting' was for 'futile' reasons is true (in contrast to Israel and the likes), but overlooks the main point. It just shows the governance - as per international agreements and naming and shaming - is not categorically better. And it can't be compensated by extra-curricular efforts elsewhere, just as flowers cannot compensate for bombs.

    Countries not going further than international governance requirements is not wrong. Why putting an extra handicap on yourself? As mentioned, a whole array of (nearby) nations have been frequently red flagged by WADA (and Interpol) for not even respecting protocols and standards properly. Then the amount of tests looks on paper good, but it is not.

    All of this must not be too hard to grasp.
     
  25. Blondo

    Blondo Member+

    Sep 21, 2013
    Ctrl+F Dedecker's quote and it's about a Cuban athlete and 8 or 13 positive samples of American athletes. Regardless, if you've heard enough of Dedecker's tall stories you should know how much of a crackpot he is, one of, if not the, biggest conspiracy theorist in the country (you like to entertain that sort of drivel, go ahead knock yourself out). He's a joke. He isn't being taken seriously, well except where he lives, in the sticks.

    Seeing Samaranch covering up doping scandals gets a mention (by the interviewer), who did the IOC turn to in their hour of need? A Belgian, Jacques Rogge, had to piece together the shards of a broken organization and considering the utter state the IOC was in before he accepted the top job he turned out to be a wise choice.

    PS civil society rankings, those are a bit iffy, whenever I come across one that reflects the views I already had I give them a thumbsup too. The ones based on perceptions, to seem rather than to be clean, well you know how I feel about that. Also, the Dutch shouldn't constantly worry about what others think of them, especially as Holland has so many ameriboos, relax.
     

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