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Al Schoenfield Media Award

Al Schoenfield Media Award

2007 Craig Lord

 

Since 1989, Craig Lord has covered every Olympic Games, World Championship and European Championship as a Swimming Correspondent for The Times and Sunday Times of London, England. All the while, he has been challenging the status quo, campaigning for fairness, speaking out against cheating and supporting the rights of swimmers and coaches to be active stakeholders in determining the direction of their sport.

 

Throughout the 1990s, Lord was at the forefront of reporting the illegal drug scandals that dogged the swimming world. He was a thorn-in-the-side of authorities who sat by as China threatened to take up where the GDR left off as a dominant force fuelled on banned performance-enhancing substances.

 

In 1998, Lord broke the news that Michelle Smith de Bruin, the Irish triple Olympic champion of 1996, faced suspension for manipulating a drug-test sample. Smith de Bruin was subsequently suspended and retired while serving her ban.

 

A year later, he traveled into China, a nation with more than 30 drug bans to its name in the pool. He emerged to reveal how the system contributed to rampant drug abuse by those in key roles in Chinese sport and how anabolic steroids were readily available for sale in local markets.

 

While serving as swimming correspondent for The Times, Lord also worked in the business, home news and features departments of the newspaper. As Deputy Editor of Times Online in 2000, he researched and compiled the organization’s Olympic archives.

 

Lord has been a European correspondent for Swimming World in the United States and Swim News in Canada. He also provides a daily digest of news and commentary for SwimNews.com, writing for Swim News publisher Nick Thierry, a recipient of this award and an ISHOF Hall of Famer.

 

Last year, Lord broke the news that the IOC and NBC TV intended to host morning finals in the pool at the Beijing Olympic Games, a move opposed by the majority of the swimming community.

 

English by birth and a Celt of Irish and Scottish ancestry, Lord is a former member of the Scottish National Squad and jokes that he could swim the 400m individual medley about as fast as Petra Schneider. He spent his formative years in Portugal, where his father was a national team coach.

 

Lord, who read English and Spanish and majored in geography and geology to earn an MA (Hons) at Aberdeen University, is currently researching the history of the five Olympic aquatic disciplines for a publication due in 2008.

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