On Monday 19 January, the IOC President was in Paris (France), at the headquarters of UNESCO, where he signed, with the Director General, Koichiro Matsuura, a bilateral agreement enabling the two organisations to work together in the fields of culture, education and development.
President Rogge also attended the opening of the UNESCO conference which should see the establishment of an international convention against doping, ensuring governments' support for the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). Addressing the conference, he recalled that the sporting movement relied on the active help of governments for the fight against doping, adding that "The fight against doping must be carried out at all levels. It is not only a matter of cleaning up top-level sport, but also of preventing the use of doping products among young people. Today, doping affects all levels of the pyramid, from high-level sport to recreational sport. It is a real public health problem."
President Rogge was accompanied by Guy Drut, IOC member and member of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the National Assembly, as well as Henri S¨¦randour, IOC member and President of the French National Olympic Committee (CNOSF).
This week, President Rogge sent a letter to US President George W. Bush, congratulating him for the stand he has taken supporting the fight against doping in the United States, which he raised in his State of the Union address.
This Friday evening, the IOC President will be in Davos for the World Economic Forum. He will take part in a discussion about the Olympic Truce, accompanied by Sergey Bubka, IOC member and Chairman of the Athletes' Commission; Adolf Ogi, Special Advisor to the United Nations Secretary General on Sport for Development and Peace; and Stavros Lambrinidis, Director of the International Olympic Truce Centre.
While in Davos, the President will also meet Bernard Bourigeaud, Chairman of the Management Board of Atos Origin (which has bought out Schlumberger); Douglas N. Daft, CEO and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Coca-Cola; and Jakob Kellenberger, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross.
A delegation led by Denis Oswald, Chairman of the Coordination Commission for the Games of the XXVIII Olympiad, has taken a progress review tour in the Greek capital, Athens. In an official declaration published after this visit, Denis Oswald said he was "impressed by the ongoing transformation", while recalling that there was still much work to be done before the opening of the Games on 13 August. He also mentioned that the Minister of Culture, Nassos Alevras, and the Secretary General for the Olympic Games, Costas Cartalis, had reiterated the government's commitment that work on Olympic projects would not be affected by the national election campaign and that it would continue without a pause.
On 19 and 20 January, a working group of the Olympic Programme Commission met to draw up a proposed agenda for the full Olympic Programme Commission's meeting which will take place in early March, with a view to making recommendations to the IOC Executive Board in May.
IOC member Issa Hayatou was reelected as President of the African Football Confederation (CAF) during the General Assembly that took place on 22 January in Tunis (Tunisia). It is Hayatou's fifth mandate at the head of African football since 1988.
At the IOC headquarters, the IOC President hosted the members of the Executive Committee of the Barbados Olympic Committee, who presented him with the document accepting the World Anti-Doping Code, as approved by the WADA Foundation Board on 5 March 2003.
This week, the President also met with IOC members Phillip W. Coles, Austin L. Sealy and Gunilla Lindberg.
INTERNATIONAL SPORTS ISSUES
Kenyan Paul Tergat, double Olympic silver medallist in the 10,000m (Atlanta 1996 and Sydney 2000), and world record holder in the marathon, has become a World Food Programme (WFP) "Ambassador Against Hunger" during a ceremony organised on 21 January at the headquarters of the Italian National Olympic Committee in Rome. Growing up in Kenya's Rift Valley, Tergat himself benefited from free WFP school lunches. Now aged 34, Paul Tergat should participate in the Athens Games next August.
NATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEES
The first International Pacific Sports Forum (IPSF) has just been held in Honolulu (Hawaii). Organised by the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), this Forum attracted 14 delegates, representing the six big NOCs of the Asia-Pacific region: Canada, China, Japan, Korea, New Zealand and the United States. The main objective of this Forum was to see how the NOCs can work together for the betterment of sport in their respective countries and for the whole of the Olympic Movement. Among the issues discussed were potential exchanges involving athletes, coaches, administrators and technical personnel; identifying programmes to train and develop sports leaders; international cooperation among teams at world and regional events; and storage and retrieval of data on athletes and NOC operations so that such information can be more easily shared between participating NOCs. It was decided to hold this Forum on a regular basis.
Triple jump specialist Kene Ndoye and footballer Henri Camara have been nominated top Senegalese sportspersons for 2003. After a vote by sports journalists, Kene Ndoye and Henri Camara won the "Golden Lion" and the "Golden Shoe" respectively.
This year, Kene Ndoye, an Olympic scholarship holder and resident of Dakar's High Performance Centre (CIAD), successively won a bronze medal at the World Indoor Championships in Birmingham (Great Britain), a place in the finals at the World Championships in Paris (France), and the gold medal in the All-Africa Games in Abuja (Nigeria). As for Henri Camara, he won the title ¡°Golden Shoe¡± for the second time.
Other personalities from the Senegalese sports world also received awards. IOC member and President of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Lamine Diack won the Merit and Excellence award, in recognition of his role as an international sports leader.
On 21 January, the Organising Committee for the Athens Games (ATHOC) launched a new volunteers training programme. To date, 138,000 volunteer applications have been received and more than 55,000 personal interviews have been conducted in Athens, the four other Olympic cities and Cyprus. Over 45,000 candidates living abroad or in the more distant parts of Greece have been selected by telephone interview and by a special questionnaire in lieu of a personal interview. So far, over 3,500 volunteers are assured of their final posts. The number of Athens 2004 Volunteers tried and tested in the first and second clusters has reached 2,500.
The training programmes scheduled for the spring and summer of 2004 will offer broader skills and useful experience that the great majority of volunteers will be able to put to good use in the post-Olympic period.
The Executive Committee of the Organising Committee for the 2006 Games in Turin (TOROC) has selected the NeWork Group for the management of the technical and logistical aspects of the Torch Relay. This Italian company, whose headquarters are in Rome, and which provides communications and events organisation services, will have the support of the Australian company Maxxam International, which produced the Torch Relay in Sydney in 2000, as well as the Manchester 2002 Commonwealth Games relay.
The Torch Relay for the 2006 Games will travel over 11,300km during two months, from December 2005 to 10 February 2006, the day of the Games Opening Ceremony. And 10,000 runners will go through all the regions and provinces in Italy. TOROC will present the route of the Olympic Torch Relay in 2005.
For the first time, a meeting has taken place between the Paralympic Games Liaison Committee of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and TOROC, following the visit of the IOC Coordination Commission.
The 2006 Paralympic Games will take place from 10 to 19 March, using the same sporting facilities as the Olympic Games. Around 1,200 athletes and officials from 40 countries will be involved. A new sport, wheelchair curling, will be added to the other three sports on the programme (Alpine skiing, ice sledge hockey and Nordic skiing).
Last week, the State Council appointed Deng Pufang as Executive President of the Organising Committee for the Beijing Games (BOCOG).
On 21 January, numerous personalities, including Pier Benedetto Francese, Italian Ambassador in Bern (Switzerland), and Doris Cohen-Dumani, Lausanne City Councillor, went to the Olympic Museum for the preview of the "Ottorino Mancioli. Panathlon" exhibition, which was held in the presence of Laura Ress¨¦guier Mancioli, the daughter of the deceased artist. The life of Ottorino Mancioli was a happy blend of medicine, art and sport. A popular, eclectic athlete in his youth, and an admired practitioner in his adulthood, he attentively studied the problems of sports medicine and succeeded, on an artistic level, in showing the sublime moments when the human body seems to disregard the laws of gravity. The artist¡¯s works, which were recognised for the first time at the art competition of the 1932 Los Angeles Games, were presented at the Sydney Games in 2000.