A well-respected law professor specializing in the investigation of corruption in sport, Richard McLaren has been named the recipient of the United States Sports Academy’s 2021 international Honorary Doctorate.
Each year as part of its Awards of Sport program, the Academy presents its Honorary Doctorate to a person who has made outstanding contributions to sport and to society.
McLaren earned the award because of his body of work uncovering corruption in international sport – including his leadership on the WADA Commission, which investigated allegations of state-sponsored doping in Russian sports. His 2016 McLaren Report indicated systematic state-sponsored subversion of the drug testing processes by the government of Russia before, during, and subsequent to the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. McLaren’s follow up report, also in 2016, found that between 2011 and 2015, more than 1,000 Russian competitors in various sports – summer, winter, and Paralympic sports – benefitted from the program.
The report led to the suspension of Russia from all international athletic competitions by the International Association of Athletics Federations (World Athletics) and the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Russian athletes were allowed to compete as neutrals in Rio and in subsequent Games in PyeongChang and Tokyo.
McLaren, a law professor at Western University in Ontario, Canada, is also member of the international Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) – the international body established to settle disputes related to sport through arbitration. In addition, he has also been a member of the ad Hoc Divisions of CAS at the Winter Olympic Games in Nagano, Japan in 1998 and Turin Italy in 2006; the Summer Olympic Games: in Sydney, Australia 2000; in Athens, Greece, 2004; and, in Beijing, China, 2008 and the Commonwealth Games in Manchester England in 2002.
McLaren has served with distinction as an arbitrator for the National Hockey League salary arbitrations and Player/Agent disputes for the NHL Players’ Association. He was appointed Chairman of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Doping Control to investigate allegations against certain American track and field athletes (Report July 2001) and served for six years as Chairman of the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) Anti-Doping Tribunal until 2006 when the ATP Doping Programme was transferred to the International Tennis Federation.
He participated in the Major League Baseball inquiry in to the use of steroids, which culminated in a Report in December of 2007. He is a member of the Anti-Doping Panel for the International Cricket Council based in Dubai and chairs the Doping Tribunal for the European Tour, which serves men’s professional golf. He is also a co-founder of Sport Solution, an athlete advocacy association funded by Athletes CAN located at the Faculty of Law, The University of Western Ontario. He is the incoming chair of the NSLI’s Board of Advisors. In 2011 he was appointed the President of the Basketball Arbitration Tribunal based in Geneva Switzerland and associated with FIBA.
The Academy’s Awards of Sport honor those who have made significant contributions to sport in categories as diverse as the artist and the athlete. The Academy’s American Sport Art Museum and Archives (ASAMA) annually recognizes these men and women through its Sport Artist of the Year, Honorary Doctorates, Medallion Series, Athletes of the Year and Alumni of the Year awards.