IOC Sets the Trend for Future of the Olympic Movement
The 114th Session of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) today concluded two days of productive meetings. The 117 members present in Mexico City discussed four key areas, which will form the cornerstones of the future direction of the Olympic Movement:
- A review of the Olympic Programme;
- the study of the cost and complexity of the Olympic Games;
- the review of the IOC 2000 reforms;
- the operational and financial audits of the IOC administration.
The Session expressed its appreciation for the work of the Olympic Programme Commission led by Mr Franco Carraro, which for the first time since 1936 has made a full review of the sports programme. It confirmed the principle of periodic review of the sports programme and decided to postpone the decision on the exclusion of the three recommended sports, i.e. Softball, Baseball and Modern Pentathlon, until after the Games of the XXVIII Olympiad in Athens 2004 to allow the International Federations concerned to implement changes. The decision to cap the number of sports at 28, the number of events at 300, and the number of athletes at 10500 was unanimously adopted.
The IOC membership also agreed to study further the means by which the costs, complexity and size of the Olympic Games can be controlled while reiterating that the quality of the Games should be preserved primarily for the sake of the athletes. Several concrete measures will now be discussed with the different constituent groups concerned by the Olympic Games Study Commission led by Mr Richard W. Pound who will present his final report to the next IOC Session in Prague in July 2003.
The reforms adopted by the 110th IOC Session in December 1999 were upheld and in particular the decision not to visit cities bidding to host the Olympic Games was overwhelmingly supported by 108 votes to 6.
The Session also received explanations on the new IOC functional organizational chart, approved earlier in the week by the Executive Board, together with information on the financial reserves that as a matter of prudence the IOC should set aside (US$ 192 million) in order to financially survive a full or partial cancellation of any future Games.
Commenting on the Session, IOC President Dr Jacques Rogge said, "I am very satisfied with the quality of the discussions we had over the last two days. Last year, when I asked the IOC Executive Board for an extraordinary Session, I wanted it to be different from the usual ones that we have with a lot of formalities and administrative dealings. I wanted it to be focused on the four essential issues for the future of the IOC. Through open and transparent debates, the 114th IOC Session has set the trend for the future of the Olympic Movement. The IOC members were able to express their views and they have taken important decisions for the future. The decision to review sports on a regular basis is a fundamental and important change of policy. I believe we also took a good decision to postpone the possible exclusion of softball, baseball and modern pentathlon until after Athens 2004 as this will allow the Federations to demonstrate that they have addressed the issues identified by the Programme Commission report. By approving the report of the Olympic Games Study Commission the IOC Session has, for the first time, decided to make the Games smaller and less costly. I was delighted that the Session endorsed the spirit of the reforms of 1999 and was very satisfied with the audit which will result in major improvements to the efficiency of the IOC administration so that we can better serve our constituents," he added.