IOC Executive Board Comes To A Close In London
After two days of meetings in the British capital, the IOC Executive Board (EB) has brought its work to a close. Discussions today included updates on the Olympic and Youth Olympic Games host cities, additions to the 2014 sports programme, National Olympic Committee (NOC) updates, and reports from various IOC directors.
The EB today supported the inclusion of six new events for the Sochi 2014 Games, with a further five events to be subject to a further feasibility study. The six new events are ski half-pipe (men and women), women’s ski jumping, biathlon mixed relay, figure skating team event and luge team relay. Five other events — ski slopestyle (men and women), snowboard slopestyle (men and women), and Alpine team parallel competition — are subject to a further feasibility study. A decision on the inclusion of these five events will be made within the coming weeks.
First Winter Youth Olympic Games Ambassador
The IOC also announced that American Alpine skier and Olympic champion Lindsey Vonn has agreed to take a leading role in mentoring athletes at the 2012 Winter Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck, Austria, by becoming the first ever Winter Youth Olympic Games Ambassador.
The EB today decided to nominate three people for IOC membership: José Perurena Lopez (Spain), whose candidature is linked to his function within an International Federation (International Canoe Federation); Gerardo Werthen (Argentina), whose candidature is as an individual member; and Barbara Kendall (New Zealand), whose candidature is as an active athlete. The IOC Session will vote on the prospective new members in Durban later this year.
Regarding the situation in India, the EB noted that, further to the meeting between the IOC, the NOC of India and representatives of the Indian Government which took place last June in Lausanne, the NOC of India has adopted new statutes in line with the Olympic Charter and the basic universal principles of good governance endorsed by the Olympic Congress in 2009. As a result, these new statutes were approved by the IOC. It appears however that the government of India is still failing to respect the jurisdiction and autonomy of the NOC and the Olympic Movement in the country and that it is now in the process of drafting new sports legislation, which may not be compatible with the Olympic Charter and the basic principles which govern the Olympic Movement. Consequently, the EB clearly indicated that it would reserve its right to consider appropriate measures at its next meeting in early July 2011 in Durban. This may unfortunately impact the representation and participation of India on the international sports scene and at the Olympic Games, in particular, if the government of India does not observe its commitment to respect the jurisdiction and autonomy of the NOC and the Olympic Movement in the country.
Following the suspension of the NOC of Ghana in January, the government of Ghana has taken appropriate steps to revise the sports legislation in question, so that it would now be compatible with the basic principles of the Olympic Charter which govern the Olympic Movement. The EB has recognised these efforts and positive developments and might therefore be in a position to consider lifting the suspension of the NOC at its next meeting in early July 2011 in Durban.
Israeli and Palestinian NOCs
The EB today also examined the situation of the NOC of Panama and the possibility of suspending the NOC as a protective measure against the sports legislation currently in force in the country, which may prevent the NOC and the Olympic Movement in Panama from operating in accordance with the Olympic Charter and the principles which govern the Olympic Movement. Before making any decision and in accordance with Rule 28.9 of the Olympic Charter, the EB agreed that the NOC of Panama should be asked to clarify the situation with respect to this sports legislation, to provide information on the ongoing legal cases before the Court of Justice of Panama in which it is involved, as well as on its internal operations. The EB said it would await the response from the NOC of Panama on these different points before making a decision.