Meeting in Lausanne, the IOC Executive Board (EB) took several important decisions on institutional matters and in the interest of protecting the integrity of sport and the athletes.
In this context, the former President of Switzerland Samuel Schmid presented the report of his Commission addressing the systemic manipulation of the anti-doping system in Russia. A delegation from Russia, which included IOC Honorary Member in Russia Vitaly Smirnov, President of the Russian Olympic Committee and IOC Member Alexander Zhukov, and figure-skater Evgenia Medvedeva, was heard by the IOC EB. Following the final report (full report here) and recommendation of the Schmid Commission, the IOC EB took a decision regarding the participation of Russian athletes at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018. The full decision is available here.
For IOC President Thomas Bach, “This was an unprecedented attack on the integrity of the Olympic Games and sport. The IOC EB, after following due process, has issued proportional sanctions for this systemic manipulation while protecting the clean athletes. This should draw a line under this damaging episode and serve as a catalyst for a more effective anti-doping system led by WADA.” He continued: “As an athlete myself, I feel very sorry for all the clean athletes from all NOCs who are suffering from this manipulation. Working with the IOC Athletes’ Commission, we will now look for opportunities to make up for the moments they have missed on the finish line or on the podium.” Full press release here.
The IOC EB also heard an update on the actions taken by the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) in consultation with WADA to address the concerns raised by the IOC Session and Executive Board regarding doping. While the IWF has taken some positive steps to address the situation, it was stressed that the IOC in cooperation with WADA will continue to closely monitor the IWF implementation of all necessary actions. As a result, the IOC EB maintained the conditional inclusion of weightlifting in the Olympic Games Paris 2024 sports programme, while issuing additional criteria that the IWF has to implement and asked it to report back to the IOC by 15 June 2018.
Regarding the current situation within the International Boxing Association (AIBA), the IOC EB expressed major concerns and identified a number of specific requirements in the areas of governance, management, finance matters, judging and anti-doping. Until the required actions have been fully addressed by the Federation, the IOC has decided to withhold any future financial contributions to AIBA with immediate effect. In the meantime, the IOC will continue to liaise with AIBA on the necessary technical details for the preparation of next year's Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires.
Concerning the upcoming Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, Lee Hee-beom, the President of the Organising Committee (POCOG), and Gunilla Lindberg, Chair of the IOC Coordination Commission, presented their respective updates on the current status of Games preparations. Efforts to promote ticket sales have resulted in good progress in the last few weeks. All venues are complete, and overlay construction is underway at all venues. Infrastructure projects have also been finalised.
Yoshiro Mori, President of the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, Toshiro Muto, CEO of the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, and John Coates, Chair of the IOC Coordination Commission, reported that the Tokyo 2020 organisers are continuing to meet all of the key milestones in the lead-up to the Games. The EB approved the venue locations for 3x3 basketball, BMX freestyle and skateboarding.
Christophe Dubi, the IOC Olympic Games Executive Director, delivered the report on behalf of the IOC Coordination Commission for the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022, and reported that preparations at this stage are well on track. The official emblem for the Beijing Games was approved by the EB and will be unveiled later in December 2017. It was announced that Juan Antonio Samaranch will be the interim Chair of the IOC Coordination Commission, while IOC EB Member Ser Miang Ng will be added to the Commission.
Dubi also briefly touched on the recent visit to Paris for the IOC Orientation Seminar, which saw the IOC, Paris 2024 and LA 2028 reinforce their commitment to organising the Olympic Games in a spirit of co-construction.
Updates were also presented on the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018 and the Winter Youth Olympic Games Lausanne 2020. The IOC EB approved the qualification systems proposed by the respective IFs for the Winter Youth Olympic Games Lausanne 2020. The EB also approved holding the fourth editions of the Summer and Winter Youth Olympic Games in 2022 and 2024 respectively. The 2022 candidature is to be added to the agenda for the next meeting of the Executive Board in PyeongChang.
The EB received an update on the activities of the Association of International Olympic Summer Sports Federations (ASOIF) and in particular a report on the full findings of the first phase of the ASOIF IF Governance assessment. There was also an update from the Association of International Olympic Winter Sports Federations (AIOWF), which covered the preparations for the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, including the Pre-Games Testing Task Force. The update on the activities of Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) included a report on the recent ANOC General Assembly in Prague.
The EB Members heard updates on the current activities of the Athletes, Athletes’ Entourage, Finance and Legal Affairs Commissions. Following a presentation from Prince Albert II, Chair of the IOC Sustainability and Legacy Commission, the EB approved the IOC legacy strategy approach whose objectives are to: embed legacy through the Olympic Games lifecycle; document, analyse and communicate the legacy of the Olympic Games; encourage Olympic legacy celebration; and build strategic partnerships.
The EB also approved changes to be proposed to the IOC Session in the status of two IOC Members. The status of Uğur Erdener changed from Member representing an International Federation to Individual Member, and that of Pierre-Olivier Beckers-Vieujant from Member representing a National Olympic Committee to Individual Member. In addition, the EB confirmed that the election of Jiri Kejval as a new Individual Member, originally planned at the IOC Session in Lima in September, will take place in PyeongChang.
Concerning NOC matters, it was highlighted that the situation with the NOCs in Greece and Kenya have been resolved.
An overview of the ongoing implementation of Olympic Agenda 2020 was also presented. The EB also received updates on the Olympic Channel activities in its first year of operations, including the content strategy and promotion of content and local partnerships in key media markets around the world. It was also reported that the construction of Olympic House is well underway. More details about EB decisions on olympic.org.
In Lausanne, the IOC President also held a meeting with POCOG President Lee Hee-beom and Executive Vice-President Kim Jae-youl. Coordination Commission Chair Gunilla Lindberg was also present. Their discussions covered the final preparations for the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 and the situation in the Korean peninsula.
The Indonesian NOC President, Erik Thohir, visited the IOC President. The two men discussed the current situation of the NOC and preparations for Asian Games 2018 in Indonesia.
The IOC President received the President of the NOC of the Democratic People´s Republic of Korea, Kim Il Guk. His visit was the traditional protocol visit of a newly elected NOC President. He was accompanied by NOC Executive Secretary O Chol Min and NOC member Ko Chol Ho.
President Bach chaired the first meeting of the Executive Committee of the Olympic Refuge Foundation, alongside Filippo Grandi, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Born from the longstanding partnership between the IOC and UNHCR, the goal of this Foundation is to pursue the efforts made by the whole Olympic Movement in recent years to support the world’s refugees.
The President also discussed various topics with EB Members Gian-Franco Kasper, Angela Ruggiero and Willi Kaltschmitt Luján, IOC Member Habu Gumel and IOC Honorary Member Kipchoge Keino.
The President and the EB Members visited the Olympic House construction site in Vidy to see for themselves the progress of the building works.
The President also attended the opening of the “Do you Speak PyeongChang?” exhibition at The Olympic Museum, together with the Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Switzerland, Lee Sang-kyu and POCOG President Lee Hee-beom. This exhibition will give visitors the chance to experience the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 between 7 December 2017 and 11 March 2018.
A meeting of the Olympic Foundation for Culture and Heritage also took place this week.
IOC Vice-President and Olympic Channel Services, S.L. Chair Juan Antonio Samaranch attended a networking event for key players in the over-the-top (OTT) media industry hosted by the Olympic Channel at its global headquarters in Madrid (Spain) on 30 November. The audience comprised more than 250 senior executives from 30 countries representing broadcasters, rights-holders, content distributors, social platforms and technology providers. Samaranch touched upon how the advancement of technology and new media can help promote the values of the Olympic Movement, of which the Olympic Channel is a direct result.
Other Olympic news
On 7 December, the IOC has published second full decision as part of the Oswald Commission findings. The full decision is now available here.
Over 20 years on from the Olympic Winter Games and almost two years on from the Winter Youth Olympic Games (YOG), Lillehammer continues to harness the positive impact of these two epic events, with the opening of the Lillehammer Olympic Legacy Sports Centre (LOLSC). The facility, which aims to become an international centre for winter sport, is funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Culture, with an additional NOK 1 million funding from the IOC. The LOLSC will open its doors to Norwegian and international young athletes, coaches, leaders and event organisers of Olympic winter sports. A strong focus will be on nations that do not have the same conditions, resources and expertise as Norway in winter sports, to allow talented athletes to thrive at the centre. Full details here.
Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS) and Olympic Channel Services (OCS) have achieved two environmental ISO certificates for their contributions to a more sustainable workplace. Manuel Romero, Director of Development and Business at AENOR (the Spanish Association for Standardisation and Certification), recently presented the certificates to Yiannis Exarchos, CEO of OBS and Executive Director of the Olympic Channel, at the OBS and OCS headquarters in Madrid. The strategic and systematic approach to energy efficiency within the organisations resulted in their obtaining the ISO 50001 certification for Energy Management Systems. OBS and OCS are dedicated to developing and implementing their energy policy as well as managing those aspects of their activities and services that involve energy use. Additionally, by achieving the ISO 14001 for Environmental Management, OBS and OCS showcase their compliance with most environmental requirements and the integration of environmental management practices into their operations.
international sportS FEDERATIONS
The world's best aquatics athletes of the year were honoured on 2 December in the fourth edition of the International Swimming Federation (FINA) World Aquatics Gala "Soirée des Etoiles" 2017 held in Sanya (People’s Republic of China). Swimming legends Caeleb Dressel (USA) and Sarah Sjostrom (Sweden) received the FINA Best Male/Female Swimmer 2017 award respectively, a first for both athletes. The best athletes in diving, high diving, artistic swimming and open water swimming, as well as the best male and female water polo teams, were also honoured. The complete list of awards can be found here.
The International Modern Pentathlon Union (UIPM) held its first Organisers Workshop at the governing body’s headquarters in Monaco from 1 to 3 December. Apart from the formal presentations, the workshop facilitated wide-ranging discussions between the delegates who will organise UIPM competitions in 2018 and UIPM staff. More info on www.pentathlon.org.
The world’s top players and World Rugby furthered collaboration on some of the game’s biggest topics at the 2017 Rugby Athletes’ Commission (RAC) meeting in Monaco. The RAC is a collaboration between World Rugby and the International Rugby Players’ Association (IRPA), and is a priority under the renewed agreement between the two bodies which outlines a joint commitment to ensure that players remain at the heart of rugby decisions. Full details here. On 4 December, World Rugby also announced that France will host the World Rugby U20 Championship in 2018, with matches being played in Béziers, Perpignan and Narbonne. The five match days will be 30 May, 3 June, 7 June, 12 June and 17 June. Full details here.
Marseille, the Olympic venue for the Paris 2024 Olympic Sailing Competition, has been selected for the World Sailing's World Cup Series Final in 2018. The World Sailing Board of Directors made the announcement on 2 December. The 2017/2018 World Cup Series commenced in Japan in October. Miami will host the American round in January 2018, followed by Hyères (France) in April. Marseille will host the final from 3 to 10 June 2018. Full details here.
The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) has officially launched a new global initiative, WBSC Mini, targeting the long-term expansion of baseball and softball’s worldwide population. WBSC Mini Baseball Softball is a small, safe and fun version of the game, intended to introduce boys and girls (6-10 years old) to the sport and develop basic skills that can be applied to all baseball and softball disciplines. WBSC plans to distribute Mini Baseball Softball starter kits and instruction manuals to schools, sports ministries and other relevant bodies worldwide. Full details here.
Under the umbrella of the International Ski Federation FIS Development Programme, 7 girls and 16 boys from 13 developing National Ski Associations are currently participating in a 30-day training camp in Austria and Italy, which started on 19 November. Apart from training sessions, the group are also taking part in FIS National Junior Races before returning home on 16 December with new skills and techniques. Full details here.
NATIONAL Olympic COMMITTEES
The International Congress on the Theory and Methodology of Sports Training concluded in Cali on 2 December. Those taking part included the President of the Colombian NOC, Baltazar Medina; the Rector of the National Sports School, Fernando Arroyo; and the Technical Director of Coldeportes, Ana Milena Orozco. More than 350 students and representatives of sports federations, sports organisations and universities, and members of the NOC administration and Coldeportes took part. The aim of the Congress was to study the theory of methodology work, and share knowledge and experience through group sessions and presentations. Also attending were representatives from other countries, including Canada, Mexico, Spain, Cuba and Argentina. More details here.
The Cyprus NOC welcomed the presidents, secretaries general and officials of 18 NOCs of the International Committee of the Mediterranean Games (ICMG) for a two-day seminar on “The Future of the Mediterranean Games”. The seminar, which was organised by the ICMG Cooperation and Development Commission together with the Cyprus NOC, took place at Olympic House in Nicosia on 29 and 30 November, and produced various interesting proposals for the future of the Games. The seminar opened with welcome speeches by the Cyprus NOC President, Dinos Michaelides, the Chair of the ICMG Cooperation and Development Commission, Tullio Paratore, and the Vice-President of the Cyprus Sports Organisation, Demetris Leontis. Also present were ICMG President Amar Addadi and Treasurer Kikis Lazarides, as well as Spyros Capralos, the Hellenic Olympic Committee President and a member of the European Olympic Committees Executive Committee. More details on www.olympic.org.cy.
In conjunction with the worldwide launch of the new Olympic Channel original series Legends Live On, a premiere screening took place on 1 December in Rome with Manuela Di Centa, Italy’s seven-time Olympic cross-country skiing medallist and IOC Honorary Member. Di Centa is featured in the new series, which highlights how Olympic heroes are translating their athletic success into careers and inspiring future generations. The event was hosted by the Italian NOC (CONI) at its headquarters, where CONI President Giovanni Malagò welcomed an audience of journalists, dignitaries and sports personalities. More details here.
The Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) has completed the seventh year of the JOC International Sports Leader Academy (JISLA), with the graduation ceremony held on 28 November at the JOC National Training Centre during the JOC-NFs International Relations Forum. A total of 43 people from 27 NFs and other sports organisations participated in the course this year, held from 14 July to 11 November. The Academy allows participants to learn international communication skills and knowledge in order to be successful in international sports organisations. Since 2011, many of the 171 alumni have been actively involved in international sports organisations such as IFs, Asian federations and OCOGs. More info on www.joc.or.jp.
On 30 November in Astana, the NOC of the Republic of Kazakhstan hosted the National Sports Awards 2017, an initiative created by NOC President Timur Kulibayev. For the first time, this year’s award winners were chosen by the public by online voting on the NOC website from 2 to 28 November, with a total of more than 300,000 votes. The guests of the evening – nominees and winners, athletes and former Olympians, top managers of National Federations and NOC partners – enjoyed the ceremony which was broadcast on national television. In addition to the nine nominations, the NOC created a special award entitled “Kazakhstan Sports Legacy”, which was given to Gennady Golovkin, Athens 2004 Olympic silver medallist and world champion in professional boxing. The award was presented by Timur Kulibayev to the world champion’s mother, Elizaveta Golovkina (see photo above). Complete list of the awardees here.
Mongolian NOC Vice-President Ts. Damdin and Secretary General E. Badar-Uugan welcomed a sports delegation from the “Sydney” Olympic Centre in Huvsgul province headed by its Vice-Director, Ch. Erdenechimeg. Located 850km from the capital city Ulaanbaatar, the Huvsgul province is a very popular area for winter sports such as speed skating and cross-country skiing, and home to several Olympians since Innsbruck 1964. The Mongolian NOC has local Olympic Councils in all 21 provinces and three cities.
Weightlifter Pensiri Laosirikul (pictured second from left) has received her bronze medal (48kg event) from the Olympic Games Beijing 2008, which she was awarded following the disqualifications of Chen Xiexia of China and Sibel Ozkan of Turkey for anti-doping rule violations. Pensiri was presented with the medal by IOC Members Nat Indrapana and Khunying Patama Leeswadtrakul (see photo) at a ceremony in Bangkok. The event was also attended by some of the country's top sporting officials, including Charouck Arirachakaran, Secretary General of the NOC of Thailand, and Sakol Wannapong, Governor of the Sports Authority of Thailand.
The Turkish Olympic Committee (TOC) and the Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality have launched a sports school for local children and Syrian refugees in the Turkish city of Gaziantep. Activity at the school kicked-off recently at the Talat Özkarslı Sports Hall, where children took part in sports activities led by Olympic gymnasts Göksu Üçtaş Şanlı and Ferhat Arıcan, as well as U23 World Wrestling Champion Fatih Cengiz. The three athletes conducted training sessions for the children and told inspiring stories of how they became professional athletes. In total, 300 children, half of whom are Syrian refugees, will take part in six Olympic sports: taekwondo, wrestling, badminton, volleyball, basketball and karate. The school will operate through the TOC’s “Support Through Sport” project, which was launched in March 2017, with the support of the IOC Emergency Fund for Refugees. The TOC is also fully funding the project, which is aimed at contributing to Syrian children’s physical and social development through greater accessibility to sport, whilst strengthening friendships and solidarity with Turkish children. More details here.
From 27 November to 1 December, a level 1 course for sailing coaches was held in Montevideo, organised by the Uruguayan NOC in collaboration with the National Sailing Authority (Yacht Club Uruguayo), under the auspices of Olympic Solidarity. A total of 32 national coaches took part in the course, which was led by Brazil’s Eduardo Sylvestre, World Sailing’s Regional Development Coordinator for Latin America, and Argentina’s Hernán Vilá, coach to the Argentinean sailing team at six editions of the Olympic Games and a World Sailing expert. More details here.
In the framework of the “Train the Trainers” programme, an international congress on sport, health and leisure was held at the headquarters of the Venezuelan NOC in Caracas. Around 170 people took part in the congress, organised on 5 and 6 December with the support of Olympic Solidarity and the Lara Andrés Eloy Blanco State Polytechnic (UPTAEB). The topics addressed included the assessment of social sports organisations; the metabolic system and exercise; leisure as a key factor in development and social transformation in the 21st century: and biomechanics in sports training.
Organising Committees for the Olympic Games
On 7 December, the Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Tokyo 2020) announced that its Mascot Selection Panel had shortlisted three mascot design sets – each containing one mascot for the Olympic Games and one for the Paralympic Games (photo) – following a review of 2,042 entries submitted by the public during a recent competition. The shortlisted designs were unveiled by pupils at a ceremony at their public elementary school in the Japanese capital. From 11 December to 22 February, 6.5 million schoolchildren at every elementary school across the country will be given the opportunity to review the shortlisted designs, with their classes casting a single vote in favour of one of the sets. International schools in Japan, as well as Japanese schools overseas, will be included in the voting process. The mascot design set that receives the highest number of classroom votes will be announced as the winner on 28 February, shortly after the Closing Ceremony of the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018. Full details here.
Organising Committees for the Youth Olympic Games
Buenos Aires 2018
On 5 December, the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games Organising Committee celebrated International Volunteer Day by launching its volunteer programme ahead of next year’s Youth Olympic Games. Up to 8,000 volunteers for Buenos Aires 2018 will be chosen from a list of local and international candidates. Online registration is open until 31 March 2018 via the official website, www.buenosaires2018.com.
The International Paralympic Committee (IPC), the Agitos Foundation and the FC Barcelona Foundation have signed a partnership agreement to develop sports projects with the common goal of achieving social inclusion for people with an impairment through sport. The collaboration for the first year includes the development of sports material for people with an impairment based on the experience and materials of the I’mPOSSIBLE programme of the Agitos Foundation, which was launched globally on 3 December. The new content introducing five Para sports will be implemented within the FC Barcelona Foundation’s FutbolNet methodology and gives recommendations on the inclusion of people with an impairment to eradicate and minimise the barriers to their active participation. The agreement was signed by First Vice-President of FC Barcelona and FC Barcelona Foundation Vice-President Jordi Cardoner, IPC President Andrew Parsons and IPC CEO Xavier Gonzalez, on 2 December in the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona. Full details here.