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Olympic highlights of the week of 14 April 2014

2014-04-16 09:05:00 IOC




From 7 to 11 April, IOC President Thomas Bach was in Belek/Antalya (Turkey) for the IOC Executive Board (EB) meeting held alongside the SportAccord Convention.

On 9 April, the IOC’s EB started its two-day meeting by holding separate talks with the members of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) and those of the Association of International Olympic Winter Sports Federations (AIOWF) on the other.

During the meeting with ASOIF - chaired by Francesco Ricci Bitti -, many of the summer sport IFs expressed their concerns to the IOC EB over preparations for the Olympic Games in Rio in 2016. President Bach said: “The IOC has outlined its own concerns over delays for some time and has stated on a number of occasions that time is running out. We believe, however, that Rio 2016 can still deliver good Games if the appropriate action is immediately taken.”

The EB later discussed and agreed on a series of new measures and a clear action plan that will support the organisers of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. In concrete terms, this means:

- Increasing frequency of visits by IOC administration and advisors. Appointing dedicated joint task forces with Rio 2016.

- Creating a high-level decision-making body bringing together the IOC, government and all key partners of the project.

- Enhanced collaboration with International Federations and key stakeholders.

- Strengthening key structures on the ground: Recruitment of a local construction project manager; Frequent assessment visits by IOC Olympic Games Executive Director Gilbert Felli

“There is strong commitment from both sides to make the Games in Rio a success,” said the IOC President, referring to the Olympic Movement and its counterparts in Brazil. “The measures approved today are intended to support the local organisers by putting at their disposal the experience of previous organisers of the Olympic Games and those with expertise on how different levels of government can work together in seamless cooperation. We are leading by example, as facilitators and partners.”

Together with the AIOWF, whose new Chairman is IOC member Gian-Franco Kasper, the EB looked back on the very successful Olympic Winter Games in Sochi. During this joint meeting, the winter IFs also confirmed that only those sports which are practised on snow or ice are considered as winter sports.

The IOC Executive Boad - © IOC/Mine Kasapoglud

During its meeting, the EB also heard the status reports on Games preparations for PyeongChang 2018 and Tokyo 2020, and was particularly impressed by the speed and quality of preparations for the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing this summer.

The EB approved the resignation of IOC Vice-President Craig Reedie as member of the Ethics Commission to avoid any possible conflict of interest with his position as President of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). Reedie will be replaced by IOC member Pierre-Olivier Beckers-Vieujant.

Updates from the IOC administration included a report from the IOC Medical Department on the final drug-testing figures from the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games that underscored the IOC’s firm commitment to protecting the clean athletes. There was an increase in both the quantity and quality of testing during the Games with a record of 2,812 tests conducted in total and more than half the tests carried out (52 percent) being pre-competition tests.

On this doping issue, the IOC also announced in Belek that the Austrian cross-country skier Johannes Duerr and Poland’s Daniel Zalewski and his four-man bobsleigh team had been excluded from the XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi. Both athletes had tested positive in Sochi.

The EB heard updates on the situations of the NOCs of Egypt and Pakistan. The EB has granted provisional recognition to the International Ski Mountaineering Federation (ISMF).

Concerning the IOC headquarters, the EB chose Danish firm 3xN as its preferred architectural partner for the potential consolidation of the headquarters in Lausanne. The decision follows a unanimous recommendation by the IOC Architecture College made during a meeting on 25 March that included the IOC President, IOC Vice-Presidents Nawal El Moutawakel, Craig Reedie and Zaiqing Yu, EB member Ching-Kuo Wu, and IOC member Lambis V. Nikolaou. The final decision on whether IOC goes ahead with plans to consolidate the headquarters will be dependent on discussions and decisions with the relevant Swiss authorities.

Before closing the EB, President Bach thanked his colleague Ugur Erdener for the perfect organisation of the meetings in Belek.

Furthermore, the IOC’s new betting intelligence system, “IBIS”, has been hailed by International Federations convened at the SportAccord Convention. This recent initiative of the IOC, which runs the platform and covers the related technological costs, aims to set up an intelligence system linking all stakeholders involved in the fight against corruption and related manipulation through betting on sports. All seven International Olympic Winter Federations are already using IBIS and the objective is to have all International Olympic Summer Federations linked to the system by the end of 2015.

President Bach attended the SportAccord Convention and its General Assembly. During his speech at the Opening Ceremony of the Convention, the IOC President said: “We are on the frontier of change on multiple fronts, facing new and exciting opportunities that are transforming our world. But at the same time we are also facing new threats and challenges that we must confront and overcome together.” President Bach explained that these new opportunities and threats would be tackled through the Olympic Agenda 2020 process. He added: “It is through this Agenda that all of us can work together. Such cooperation and this Olympic Agenda will make sport much stronger and even more relevant for the years to come.”

(L-R) Ugur Erdener, President Bach, Prime Minister Erdoğan 
and Minister Kiliç - © Office of the Prime Minister

On 11 April in Istanbul, President Bach, accompanied by IOC EB member and Turkish NOC President Ugur Erdener, met the Prime Minister of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, in the presence of the Minister of Youth and Sport, Akif Çağatay Kiliç. During the meeting, the two leaders discussed various issues, including the importance of sport in society, the educational role of sport and the respectful partnership between sports organisations and governments. They also discussed the significant improvement of sport infrastructure and the future plans for the Olympic Movement in Turkey.

During his stay in Belek, President Bach met delegations from the Association of IOC-Recognised International Sports Federations (ARISF), the International World Games Assocation (IWGA), the International Wushu Federation, as well as a group from Kosovo. He also had meetings with the Turkish Minister of Youth and Sport, Akif Çağatay Kiliç and with several IOC members present in Belek.

Gian-Franco Kasper was elected President of the AIOWF at its general assembly in Belek. Kasper had served as AIOWF President between 2000 and 2002 before passing the baton to fellow IOC member René Fasel.

Timothy Tsun Ting Fok was re-elected as President of the NOC of Hong Kong, China for the 2014–2016 period at the NOC’s 63rd Annual General Meeting at the end of March (see also “NOCs”).

Ugur Erdener has joined the ASOIF Council. He was elected at the ASOIF’s Annual General Meeting in Belek.

José Perurena was elected President of the International World Games Association (IWGA) until 2018 at its Annual General Meeting in Belek (see also “Recognised Organisations”).


© Stéphane-Danna

The 2014 IOC World Conference on Prevention of Injury and Illness in Sport brought together over 120 international experts (team doctors, medical science experts and sports specialists) in Monaco from 10 to 12 April. Officially opened by Sovereign Prince Albert II (see photo), also an IOC member, the conference programme covered a wide range of topics from the prevention of heart-related problems in athletes to exploring innovative field-based injury screening and the power of social media in sports injury prevention, to mention but a few.

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