RICHARD POUND might have been explaining why he never became president of the International Olympic Committee when he told The Herald that those running for high sporting office don't get elected: "if they make waves, or turn over too many rocks."

The Canadian QC was once the movement's most influential figure, chair of numerous key committees, including some 20 years negotiating TV and sponsorship deals which clawed the IOC back from the brink of bankruptcy.

But chairmanship of their corruption investigation into the Salt Lake Winter Games was a poisoned chalice. Under the rocks he discovered and exposed extensive bribery, and "very disappointing conduct" led to dismissal of 10 IOC members. This de-railed the gravy train and stricter rules angered colleagues. The outgoing IOC chairman devalued Pound's campaign by describing the World Anti-Doping Agency (of which he was founding president) as "a mess".

The anodyne Belgian, Jacques Rogge, won the presidency and barely made a ripple.

Pound continues to make waves, remaining chair of its broadcasting services board and a member of its legal affairs and marketing commissions. No longer a member of WADA, he was asked to chair their inquiry which resulted in exclusion of Russian athletics from Rio and an Interpol investigation which implicated the sport's president in corruption.

The inquiry had a mandate only to examine athletics in Russia. He has no specific evidence, but fears problem involve other sports, and countries. "There was a deep-seated culture in the Soviet Union and Russia continued that, and it is a reasonable concern. These people were all part of the Soviet Union, involved in that sports system, and there is no reason to think that was applied any differently in their part of the country than in Moscow . . . If you extrapolate that to all the countries of the former Soviet Union, you are getting closer to the situation."

Can Russia become code-compliant in time for Rio this summer? He has no input to the IAAF decision, but offers an opinion: "I don't think you can get a culture-change that quickly, though you could conceivably get conduct-change."

Now 40 suspensions in the past two years led WADA on Thursday to give Kenya until May 2 to become code-compliant, otherwise they may also be excluded from Rio.

Pound saluted the courage of whistle-blowers, "who have paid a terrible price – cannot go back to Russia and risking, perhaps, their physical safety.

"We were really fortunate to have these very careful observers who took the time and trouble to make recordings and videos, and to collect documents used as proof. We were able to spend a lot of our time validating what they'd produced, ensuring tapes and videos had not been doctored, or documents forged, and trying to get corroborated evidence."

He points to France, Germany, Italy, and Spain all having some degree of criminal liability in relation to doping while there is none in Britain. He believes this to be worth pushing for, though perhaps too interventionist for our taste.

It was "a huge shock" to read Italian research demonstrating the scale of the sport drugs market: "bigger economically than the combination of marijuana, cocaine, and heroin."

Ming Campbell presented similar Scottish evidence from a Herald expose to Parliament many years ago, but it was ignored amid allegations of police concern that their budget for "real drugs" might be cut.

"As a former athlete [Olympic 100m freestyle finalist and Commonwealth gold and silver medallist] I'm not sure I want you to go to jail, but I don't want to play with you," says Pound. "Arguably it's more criminal now. Not only are you cheating in walking away with a medal, but you are walking away with hundreds of thousands of pounds in prize money that should have gone to somebody else. You may need some kind of a sanction there."

Getting 206 WADA members to agree is difficult, but Pound suggests their board outline the problem, its scale, and present a solution: "Is anyone against that? It's harder to put a hand up to object to a proposal. Group dynamics can work for you."

Under-funding, he says, is a huge problem for his presidential successor, the Scot, Sir Craig Reedie. "It's a very difficult role, given the increased sophistication of doping and chronic under-funding."

We highlighted our revelation of an entrapment attempt by the Sunday Times Insight team trying to recruit a Swede in a doping sting, possibly in an attempt to implicate Mo Farah. The athlete reported them to Swedish and UK Athletics, the IAAF and WADA.

"What seems clear is that you have to learn how to think like somebody involved in doping in order to devise the right response," says Pound. "Whether entrapment is a proper avenue or not, I don't know. It's certainly clear that the Marquis of Queensberry rules don't apply, but you end up shooting yourself in the foot. If there is entrapment, that provides accusers with a defence. A little bit like these Panama papers. If they have been acquired illegally, there will be some question whether they can be used for criminal prosecutions.

"But the more light you can shine on it, the better it is."

Pound had to defend the Olympic sprint cheat, Ben Johnson, in 1968. He looked him in the eye and swore he was innocent.

"Ben is not there behind your back, splitting the atom. I suspect that for quite a while he did not know he was taking stuff. He definitely did by 1988, but earlier I suspect it may have been a variation on the East Germany thing: "They're just vitamins. Take them."

Did that experience make doping a personal crusade? "You're not entirely wrong, though it was about 10 years later, when the Festina affair broke."

Pound believes doping and betting corruption could prove a tipping point for sport. "People will say: 'I'm not going to watch something that's fixed.' If they stop watching, sponsors will question why they are sponsoring this, and broadcaster will ask why they are wasting air time. The whole thing could dry up in a nanosecond."

These issues will be addressed at Stirling University a week on Thursday (21/4) where Pound will pose: "The Big Sporting Question: doping in sport, is there a way forward?" To attend, contact