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08 Jan 2010
IOC News

Highlights of the week


This week, the IOC Executive Board has suspended the National Olympic Committee of Kuwait following political interference by the government in the Kuwaiti sports movement. This decision, taken in accordance with the provisions of the Olympic Charter – Rule 28, paragraph 9 in particular – in order to protect the Olympic Movement in Kuwait, came into effect on 1 January 2010. Full press release at


The International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) has announced the death of honorary FIG member Peter Nielsen on 26 December at the age of 76. Peter Nielsen was President of the Danish Gymnastics Federation from 1970 to 1992, and actively promoted the sport in neighbouring countries. A founding father of the European Gymnastics Union in 1982, he joined the FIG’s Gymnastics for All Committee in 1984. In 2000, he became a FIG honorary member. Press release at

On 4 January, the International Swimming Federation (FINA) and the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) renewed their contract on media rights up to 2013. This partnership covers the 2011 and 2013 World Championships as well as the 2010 and 2012 World Swimming Championships (25m). Press release at

World number ones Switzerland’s Roger Federer and the US’s Serena Williams have been named 2009 World Champions by the International Tennis Federation (ITF). This is the fifth time Federer has been honoured and the second time for Williams, who has also won the women’s doubles title with her sister Venus. Brothers Bob and Mike Bryan (USA) took the men’s doubles title for the sixth time. Among the juniors, the titles went to Daniel Berta (Sweden) and Kristina Mladenovic (France), while Shingo Kunieda (Japan) and Esther Vergeer (Netherlands) were recognised in the wheelchair category for the third and tenth consecutive time respectively. Press release at

The former President of the Swedish Ice Hockey Association and member of the Council of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF), Rickard Fagerlund, died on 24 December at the age of 72 in his hometown of Södertälje. Two weeks beforehand, the IIHF had announced that Rickard Fagerlund would be inducted in the IIHF Hall of Fame in the “builders” category. Press release at


Organised in Rio de Janeiro by the Brazilian NOC, the 11th edition of the Brazilian Olympic Awards saw the announcement of the Brazilian Athletes of the Year: swimmer Cesar Cielo, world record holder in the 50m and 100m freestyle events, and judoka Sarah Menezes, double junior world champion in the -48kg category. The Brazilian President, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva received the Olympic Personality Trophy, in recognition of his commitment during the whole of Rio de Janeiro’s candidature to organise the 2016 Games. The Trophy was presented by NOC President and IOC member Carlos Arthur Nuzman. Info at

On 6 January, the American NOC (USOC) appointed Scott Blackmun as its CEO. Blackmun had already worked at the USOC - in September 1998, he joined as General Counsel and Director of Legal Affairs. From November 2000 to October 2001, he served as acting CEO. Press release at

As part of a ceremony celebrating the best athletes of 2009, the new Guatemalan NOC Executive Committee swore their oath of office. Thus, for the 2009-2013 period, Sergio Arnoldo Camargo Muralles will be President of the NOC, with Salomón David Rowe Stewart as Secretary General, and Ana Amapola de Lourdes Arimany Ruiz, Jose Estuardo García Reyes and Lizbeth Patricia Godoy Díaz-Durán as members. During the ceremony, the NOC’s honorary tribunal, chaired by Claudia Cordero, also took an oath. Finally, former NOC President Fernando Antonio Beltranena Valladares became an honorary member of the NOC’s Assembly. Info at

Since last December, the Iranian NOC has organised the first Advanced Sport Management Course, placed under the auspices of Olympic Solidarity. Spread over seven modules organised each month from 2009 to 2010, this course brings together 11 participants representing several sports federations and organisations. The first module was launched in December 2009 by NOC Secretary General Bahram Afsharzadeh, and the second was held on 4 and 5 January 2010. More info at

A few days before Christmas, former top level athletes came together at the Lithuanian NOC headquarters in Vilnius. For many years, the NOC has run an “Olympic Family” programme which aims to facilitate these athletes’ living conditions, including through the granting of Olympic pensions. Over 50 veterans from across the country took part in this ceremony, as well as NOC members, active athletes and media representatives. NOC President Arturas Poviliunas presented awards to the former athletes who had anniversary celebrations: rowers Vytautas Butkus and Jonas Pinskus, cyclist Juozas Grabauskas and boxer Jonas Cepulis.

The Mongolian NOC has organised its annual “Burtu Chono” Olympic gala, in cooperation with national television. Those present included NOC President Demchigjav Zagdsuren, IOC honorary member Shagdarjav Magvan, Chairman of the National Sports Board D. Surenkhorloo, Sports Minister S. Lambaa and Prime Minister Sukhbaataryn Batbold. The Athletes of the Year for 2009 were: P. Serdamba, the first Mongolian boxing world champion, and B. Tsagaanbaatar, the first judo world champion. B. Munguntuul (chess), G. Usukhbayar (national wrestling), M. Davaajargal-Hakuho (sumo), U. Munkh-Erdene and N. Tugstsogt (boxing), B. Odonchimeg and O. Burmaa (women’s wrestling), D. Tumurkhuleg (judo) were selected by the Mongolian sports media as the Top 10 in 2009.

The Nigerian NOC has awarded the 2009 IOC Trophy “Sport and the Fight Against Doping” posthumously to Mark Aku, the former Sports Minister of Nigeria. His wife, Cecilia Aku, received the Trophy in the presence of the Sports Minister and Chairman of the National Sports Commission, Sani Ndanusa, NOC President and IOC member Habu Gumel, and a representative of the Executive Governor of Jigawa State.

The Peruvian NOC has informed us that, for the first time in its Olympic history, Peru will take part in a few weeks’ time in the Olympic Winter Games. Indeed, Roberto Carcelen Flores has qualified for the cross-country skiing competition at the Vancouver Winter Games in February 2010.

During the celebration of NOC Day, the Athletes, Teams and Coaches of the Year were announced by the Serbian NOC. World swimming champions Nadja Higl and Milorad Čavić were named Athletes of the Year, while the men’s water polo team and the women’s volleyball team received the Team of the Year titles. Water polo coach Dejan Udovičić was named Coach of the Year, while Nenad Dikić, Director of the Serbian Anti-Doping Agency, took the 2009 IOC Trophy “Sport and the Fight Against Doping”. This ceremony was a prelude to the NOC’s 100th anniversary celebrations in 2010.

Sergey Bubka , President of the Ukrainian NOC and IOC member, awarded the 2009 IOC Trophy “Sport and the Fight Against Doping” to Ivan Kurlishchuk, Director of the National Anti-Doping Centre in mid-December last year. This Centre works in close cooperation with anti-doping organisations in the Russian Federation, Belarus, Georgia and Kazakhstan as well as Ukrainian national sports federations. 


On 4 January, a press release by the Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver (VANOC) informed us that 20 boxes full of sporting goods will be making their way to the Far North this week to the children in some of Canada’s most remote communities as part of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Truce Northern Outreach Project, which is being run in partnership with the Canadian Forces and the United Nations Association in Canada (UNAC). Press release at


The 10th European Youth Olympic Winter Festival (EYOWF) will be held from 12 to 19 February 2011 in Liberec (Czech Republic). In early December last year, the Organising Committee, whose Chief Executive is Katerina Nycova, presented its concept during the European Olympic Committees (EOC) General Assembly in Lisbon (Portugal). The Festival’s official site is

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