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.”
(from left to right) 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”).
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.
INTERNATIONAL SPORTS FEDERATIONS
© Philippe Fitte
The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and its longstanding partner “Peace and Sport, L’Organisation pour la Paix par le Sport” organised a peace relay at the Stade Louis II in Monaco on 4 April as part of the United Nations first ever International Day of Sport for Development and Peace. More than 100 schoolchildren participated in the relay and the Kids’ Athletics programme (see photo), with IAAF President and IOC member Lamine Diack and world marathon record-holder Paula Radcliffe in attendance. Info at www.iaaf.org
The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) informs us that a 3x3 basketball tournament was held in Cuenca (Ecuador), enabling young players to celebrate the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace. Two of the 14 teams that participated – one girls’ and one boys’ team - were named after the date, “6 April”. Info at www.fiba.com
The International Boxing Association (AIBA) has set the date of the launch of its new professional boxing programme, AIBA Pro Boxing (APB), as Friday 24 October 2014. Info at www.aiba.org
The Board of Directors of the International Canoe Federation (ICF) met in Lausanne at the end of March. ICF President and IOC member José Perurena created a commission responsible for evaluating canoeing’s place in the Olympic programme. The ICF Board also selected the venues of several world championships in 2015, 2017 and 2018. Its next meeting will be held in conjunction with the ICF Congress that will take place in Warsaw (Poland) from 3 to 9 November 2014. Info at www.canoeicf.com
The International Swimming Federation (FINA) informs us that, in the framework of the SportAccord Convention in Belek, Hungarian 200m and 400m medley world champion Katinka Hosszu took part in a training session with children from local swimming clubs. She also participated in the first ever SportAccord “Youth Club” discussion panel. Info at www.fina.org
The athletes, organisers and delegates participating in the second stage of the Modern Pentathlon World Cup in Cairo (Egypt) celebrated the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (see photo). The President of the (UIPM), Klaus Schormann, and representatives of the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Ministry of Youth and Sport were joined by several ambassadors at the celebration. Info at www.pentathlon.org
The International Rugby Board (IRB) has just launched an enhanced version of its concussion education programme. The programme includes a guide to concussion for players, coaches, parents and referees, and calls upon the rugby community to recognise and remove from the pitch any player displaying symptoms of concussion. Info at www.irbplayerwelfare.com
At the meeting of the Board of Administration of the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB), the Chief Executive Officer of Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS), Yiannis Exarchos, outlined the key changes in Olympic television and its future. Info at www.fivb.org
The World Curling Federation (WCF) has announced the hosts of its international competitions for the 2014-15 season (World Junior Curling Championships, European Junior Curling Challenge, European Mixed Curling Championship and World Wheelchair Curling Qualification Event). This announcement was made following the WCF’s Executive Board meetings held in Beijing (People’s Republic of China) in conjunction with the World Men’s Curling Championship. Info at www.worldcurling.org
NATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEES
© NOC Albania
To commemorate the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace, the , the UN Office in Albania and the Ministry of Education and Sport organised a half marathon for 50 athletes from the Balkan region. Some 2,000 schoolchildren from the city of Durres were joined by a large number of other runners on a 5km course, all wearing a T-shirt depicting the symbol of the Day (see photo). The NOC President, Viron Bezhani, gave one of the T-shirts to the UN Resident Coordinator in Albania, Zineb Touimi-Benjelloun, in partnership with the Albanian Athletics Federation and the municipality of Durres. More info at www.nocalbania.org.al
Brazil also celebrated the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace with an Olympic exhibition entitled “Olympic Games: Sports, Culture and Art”, which was opened at the National Museum in Brasilia on 1 April. Organised by the Brazilian NOC, the exhibition has already been staged in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro and contains some 300 items that tell the story of the Games of the modern era. The opening was attended by numerous Olympic medallists, including the master of ceremonies, volleyball player Adriana Behar, long-jumper Maurren Maggi (2nd from the left in the photo) and judoka Sarah Menezes (2nd from the right in the photo). The national women’s rugby team, the President of the Brazilian NOC and of the Rio 2016 Organising Committee, IOC Honorary Member Carlos Arthur Nuzman (left in the photo), and the Minister of Sport, Aldo Rebelo (right in the photo), were also in attendance. Info at www.cob.org.br.
© Colombian NOC
On 7 April, the Colombian NOC commemorated the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace by participating in sports and leisure activities organised by the Colombian Institute of Sport, Coldeportes. The NOC men’s and women’s football teams (see photo) played their Coldeportes counterparts, for example. Info at www.coc.org.co
The commission responsible for diet and healthy lifestyles of the Spanish NOC held its first ever meeting at the NOC headquarters on 4 April (see photo). Among the topics discussed, the commission decided to promote nutrition issues among both federation doctors and athletes, and to emphasise the importance of a supplement-free diet for athletes. Info at www.coe.es
© Hong Kong NOC
At its 63rd Annual General Meeting on 27 March, the NOC of Hong Kong, China elected its Executive Board. The 14 elected officers (see photo) will occupy their posts until the 65th AGM in 2016. Info at www.hkolympic.org
The Palestinian NOC reports that the 2nd edition of the “Right To Movement” marathon took place in Bethlehem (West Bank) on 11 April, attracting thousands of local and international participants. The programme included three races: 10km, 21km and the marathon, which wound its way through several geographical areas and communities. The marathon, whose organisers hope it will become part of the IAAF international calendar, is designed to raise public awareness of the importance of sport in the fields of health, politics and tourism.
© Peruvian NOC
The Peruvian NOC informs us that around 30 coaches (see photo) from 10 different regions are attending a level 2 judo coaching course until 14 April, organised under the auspices of Olympic Solidarity. The course, which includes theoretical and practical sessions, was opened by the NOC Vice-President, Víctor Puente-Arnao.
Meanwhile, shooting champion Nicolás Rodolfo Pacheco Espinoza has received the “Antorcha Olímpica” and “Colibrí de Plata” awards for the best athlete of 2013. He was honoured at the “Entre Campeones” (“Between Champions”) ceremony organised at the national stadium in Lima by the NOC, the Peruvian Institute of Sport and the Olympians’ Association (ADO Perú). This ceremony was attended by the Minister of Education, Jaime Saavedra, the President of the Institute of Sport, Francisco Boza, NOC Vice-President Víctor Puente-Arnao, national sports federation presidents, athletes and their families. Info at www.coperu.org
© Portuguee NOC
The Portuguese NOC has concluded an agreement with the International Centre for Sport Security (ICSS). Signed by the NOC President, José Manuel Constantino (left in photo), and the ICSS President, Mohammed Hanzab (right in photo), the agreement focuses on cooperation between the two institutions aimed at furthering the NOC’s efforts to promote and safeguard the Olympic values and emphasising the importance of exchange programmes designed to empower and educate young people through sport. Info at www.comiteolimpicoportugal.pt
© Czech NOC
The Czech NOC is launching a new project entitled “Olympic Combined Events” as part of its Sporting Nation campaign. Starting in April at elementary schools across the country, this project will see Olympic events organised specifically for children. 500 schools have already signed up. Biathlete Veronika Vítková (see photo) and canoeist Vavřinec Hradilek, medallists at the Sochi and London Games respectively, are ambassadors of the project. It follows on from the “My Olympics” and “Olympic Park Sochi – Letná” projects, in which over 400,000 children and adults took part. Info at www.olympic.cz
During its Convention in Belek from 6 to 11 April, SportAccord, chaired by Marius Vizer, announced the launch of its Global Unified Athletes Research Database (GUARD) during the SportAccord Doping-Free Sport Unit (DFSU) session. This worldwide web-based platform aims at minimising the risks of inadvertent doping by offering all Athletes, regardless of their country or sport, a research tool on whether or not a medication that is legally marketed contains a prohibited substance on the World Anti-Doping Agency List of Prohibited Substances and Method in force. More info on www.sportaccord.com
At their Annual General Meeting in Belek, the delegates of the 36 member federations of the International World Games Association (IWGA) unanimously appointed Ron Froehlich, who had served as IWGA President since 1992, as the Honorary President of the IWGA. Meanwhile, on the same occasion, the IWGA launched its own video channel under the slogan “Discover the World of Sports”. This will be an additional media platform for the main events of the IWGA member federations. Info at www.theworldgames.com
The General Assembly of the Association of IOC Recognised International Sports Federations (ARISF) (see photo), chaired by Raffaele Chiulli, took place in Belek on 7 April. The agenda included a questionnaire used to gather detailed information, which was returned by the 34 member federations, the 2013 financial report and the 2014 budget. On 10 April, the first ever ARISF-WADA training session on the fight against doping was held. Info at www.arisf.org
Please note that there will be no issue of the Olympic Highlights next week (14 to 20 April).