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24 May 2016
IOC News

Olympic Highlights



On 17 May the IOC Executive Board (EB) met in a special session to step up the fight against drug cheats. Speaking after the meeting IOC President Thomas Bach outlined a number of measures being taken to protect the clean athletes. The current operation to retest samples from the Olympic Games Beijing 2008, which started in August 2015, has re-tested 454 doping samples. As a result, up to 31 athletes could be banned from competing at the Olympic Games in Rio.

Following the controversy surrounding the anti-doping laboratory in Sochi, the IOC EB asked the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to initiate a full investigation into allegations that testing at the Sochi laboratory was subverted. The IOC will instruct the Lausanne Anti-Doping Laboratory, where the Sochi samples are being stored for ten years, to proceed in cooperation with WADA with their analysis in the most sophisticated and efficient way possible.

The IOC EB also took note of the declaration issued by the Japanese Olympic Committee, the former President of the Tokyo 2020 Bidding Committee, Tsunekazu Takeda, and its former Director General, Nobumoto Higuchi. The IOC will continue to work to shed full light on the issue. As such, the IOC will keep its position as civil party to the French justice procedure and the IOC’s Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer will actively cooperate in the legal inquiry.

Please see the complete press release unanimously approved by the IOC Executive Board here.

You can also read the editorial by the IOC President on the recent allegations against the WADA-accredited laboratory in Sochi, and the measures taken by the IOC, which are in line with its zero tolerance policy.

© IOC / Philippe Woods

The IOC President met Chinese Supervisory Minister Huang Shu Xian at the IOC headquarters and agreed to a number of new steps in the fight against corruption. The Minister outlined several new measures the Chinese government is taking, in cooperation with the Chinese National Olympic Committee, to prevent corruption and ensure clean Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022. Speaking at the meeting, the IOC President said he appreciated the efforts and achievements of China in fighting corruption. He congratulated the Minister on the great work being done by the Chinese authorities in terms of openness and transparency, in preparation for the Olympic Winter Games. The IOC President also invited China to take part in a meeting of the International Sport Integrity Partnership, which will be held alongside the International Forum for Sport Integrity in Lausanne in early 2017. Complete press release here.

During a telephone conversation on 15 May, IOC President Thomas Bach congratulated interim Brazilian President Michel Temer and wished him all the best, in the hope that Brazil, under his leadership, would emerge from its current crisis. During the call the new Brazilian President told the IOC President he was ‘fully committed’ to success of Olympic Games Rio 2016. President Bach accepted an invitation to go to Brasilia in June to meet President Temer and his new government during a scheduled visit to Brazil. Complete press release here.

© Getty Images

On 20 May in Frankfurt the IOC President joined the 10th anniversary celebrations of the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB). He led the organisation from its founding on 20 May 2006 until he was elected IOC President in September 2013. The IOC President, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and DOSB President, Alfons Hörmann delivered key note addresses to the 650 guests in St. Paul's Church, a building with important political symbolism in Germany. Also in attendance were the President of the European Olympic Committees (EOC), IOC EB Member Patrick Joseph Hickey and several Presidents of European NOCs. (see also under ‘NOCs’ section)

© Getty Images

While in Frankfurt, President Bach took the opportunity to present the Olympic Order to Ilse Bechthold, a former member of the IOC’s Women in Sport Commission and Chair of the Women’s Commission of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). Mrs Bechthold worked to open doors for women in nearly every discipline that is practised in athletics. In 1998 she initiated the “Year of Women in Athletics” within the IAAF. She also conducted several clinics and courses around the world. A successful athlete in discus, shot put and pentathlon, her passion for sport also influenced her professional life. She taught physical education to thousands of future teachers at the University of Frankfurt and served as a spokesperson for female students.

On his return from Germany the President hosted a dinner for members of the Tripartite Working Group on the Youth Olympic Games, chaired by IOC EB Member U─čur Erdener.

The IOC President’s meeting with International Federation of Gymnastics (FIG) President Bruno Grandi focused mainly on preparations for the gymnastics competitions at the forthcoming Olympic Games in Rio.


© IOC / Benoit Fontaine

IOC EB Member René Fasel was re-elected President of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) during its Annual Congress in Moscow (Russian Federation). This will be his sixth and final term.

© Lars Møller

Lydia Nsekera, chair of the IOC’s Women in Sport Commission, led an IOC delegation to the 4th Women Deliver Conference from 16 to 19 May in Copenhagen (Denmark). The IOC organised a side event on 18 May entitled “Giving women and girls a sporting chance” in collaboration with the Danish Olympic Committee and in the presence of IOC Member HRH Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark, to demonstrate the essential role played by sport and physical activity in promoting a healthy lifestyle, a vital part of achieving gender equality, and highlight the role the Olympic Movement can play in achieving the Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Crown Prince Frederik said: “In the IOC we strive for excellence, friendship and respect, regardless of gender, religion and ethnicity. That is what the Olympic Games are all about.” Lydia Nsekera talked about the importance of sport in eliminating all forms of discrimination, particularly violence against women and girls, and achieving gender equality. “We are all teammates with a cause that will improve lives and make the world a better place for everyone,” she said. Lydia Nsekera was also symbolically presented with the SDGs Game Ball, and took part in the opening match of the Global Goals World Cup. Complete press release here.


IOC EB Member Gunilla Lindberg (r. on photo), Chair of the IOC Coordination Commission for the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, expressed strong confidence in newly appointed PyeongChang 2018 President Hee-boem Lee (l. on photo) at the conclusion of a two-day visit on Friday 20 May. “It is obvious that PyeongChang 2018 is in very capable hands,” Lindberg told international and Korean journalists at a concluding joint press conference with Lee. “Our time together leaves me confident that Mr Lee understands what needs to be done in this critical operational phase. He is certainly off to a fast start.” In their first working meeting, Lindberg and Lee discussed a range of issues, including preparations for the final round of test events next winter. President Lee agreed with Chair Lindberg that he and the PyeongChang 2018 team have a lot of work to do before the start of the next Olympic Winter Games in February 2018. Before meeting with the IOC Coordination Commission Chair, Lee, who took office on 16 May, spent his first week in the job with a series of briefings, venue visits and meetings with PyeongChang 2018 staff, national winter sports federations and government officials. Complete press release here.



The European coaching department of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) has developed a coaching app that will benefit coaches at all levels, globally. The app is designed to help coaches reach out to others in the community, as well as giving access to a vast library of coaching materials. More info on the

At the 66th Congress of the International Federation of Football Associations (FIFA) in Mexico City (Mexico), FIFA President Gianni Infantino announced the appointment by the FIFA Council of Fatma Samba Diouf Samoura (Senegal) as the new Secretary General. She is the first woman and the first African to hold the post. A 21-year veteran of United Nations programmes, Ms Samoura is currently the United Nations Resident/Humanitarian Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Nigeria. As required by article 37 of FIFA’s statutes, Ms Samoura will undergo an eligibility check by the independent Review Committee and is expected to take up the position by mid-June. The FIFA Congress also approved the admission of the national federations of Gibraltar and Kosovo, which become the 210th and 211th FIFA member associations. Further details of the Congress’s decisions can be found here on


Auckland (New Zealand) played host to the latest International Swimming Federation (FINA) Synchronised Swimming Development Clinic for Judges from 22 to 26 April (photo above). During this intermediate level five-day course, FINA approved lecturer Diane Van der Pol taught 32 participants the basis of the evaluation process and the judging steps for all synchronised swimming events, with practical and theoretical sessions. Having taken part in the FINA World Championships last year in Kazan (Russian Federation), New Zealand is particularly keen on developing and growing the sport domestically to improve its position in the world hierarchy. More info on

At the final of the 2016 World Cup in Sarasota (United States), the International Modern Pentathlon Union (UIPM) launched a series of events to recognise the role of coaches. Coach of the Day awards were presented to Kim Raisner (Germany), Marian Gheorghe (Great Britain) and Andy Mackenzie (Ireland) (see photo above). Coach of the Day awards will also be presented at the World Championships in Moscow (Russia), which takes place from 22 to 29 May. The UIPM will also be holding a coaches’ meeting in Moscow, during which its coach certification programme will be finalised. Elections are currently under way for the UIPM coaches’ committee, which will be represented by the six modern pentathlon confederations. The UIPM will also host a coaches’ conference next November in Manchester (Great Britain). More info on

© World Rugby

World Rugby informs us that Rugby India celebrated the countdown to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the under-18 Rugby Sevens championships in Padur-Chennai. Rugby India, in association with the Tamil Nadu Rugby Football Union, organised the first ever championship for boys and girls at the Gateway International School in Tamil Nadu from 6 to 8 May. A total of 30 teams from all over the country, including 9 girls’ teams, took part in the event (see photo above).

At the World Rugby council meeting on 11 May in Dublin (Ireland), Bill Beaumont and Agustín Pichot were elected Chairman and Vice-Chairman respectively. They succeed Bernard Lapasset and Oregan Hoskins, who had previously announced that they would not seek re-election. The Council also announced the appointment of two independent directors to the federation’s executive committee, and the admission of the national rugby associations of Guatemala and Slovakia as associate member unions. World Rugby now has 103 full and 18 associate member unions. More info on


The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) has announced the launch of Chinese, Japanese and Korean language versions of its website at The website is already available in English and Spanish, which are the WBSC’s official languages. All content and features – news, press releases, international calendar, world rankings and historical information – is now available worldwide in five languages.


11 May was a historic day for the International Orienteering Federation (IOF). More than 200,000 people celebrated World Orienteering Day in 79 countries and territories around the world. One of the 2642 activities took place in Hunan University in China, where around 2,500 mainly young people celebrated the event on the university campus (see photo above). Thirty media representatives from local and national newspapers and television networks covered the event, which was also live-streamed on two websites giving an audience reach of 1.2 million. Several thousand kilometres away in Sweden, the IOF celebrated the day with the opening of its new headquarters in Karlstad, where IF representatives including IOF President Brian Porteous also took part in an event at a local school. World Orienteering Day will be repeated on 24 May 2017 and 23 May 2018. More info on



On the occasion of the celebrations of its 10th anniversary, the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB) inaugurated its new headquarters. The building will be home to more than 160 employees and around a dozen sports organisations. The DOSB was founded in 2006 after a merger of the NOC of Germany and the German Sport Confederation. The DOSB unites 27 million people within 98 member organisations and 90,000 sports clubs. More info on

The Australian Olympic Committee tells us that on 13 May the uniforms for the swimming, diving and water polo teams for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games were unveiled at the aquatics centre of the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast. The uniforms were modelled by a selection of Australia’s Olympic hopefuls: Cameron McEvoy, Emma KcKeon, Bronte Barratt and Jake Packard for swimming; Maddison Keeney and Dom Bedggood for diving; and Kelsey Wakefield for water polo. Meanwhile, Speedo Australia has announced the extension of its long-term sponsorship of the Australian Olympic team for a further 12 years, taking the partnership through to the 2028 Olympic Games. More info on

© Bahrain Olympic Committee

The 2016 Olympic Day celebrations in Bahrain are due to take place over two weeks, with five walkathons organised by the Bahrain Olympic Committee between 15 and 27 May. Hundreds of participants of all ages are expected to take part in each event (see photo above). The programme prepared by the NOC, under the slogan “Move... Learn... Discover”, includes a variety of physical activities as well as workshops and meetings with national Olympic athletes. More info on

© Dominican NOC

The Dominican NOC held a briefing for the Dominican delegation that will travel to Rio for the 2016 Olympic Games. The meeting at the NOC headquarters was chaired by NOC President Luis Mejía Oviedo, with the participation of representatives of the 12 national sports federations with athletes who have qualified for the Games. NOC Secretary General Antonio Acosta, chef de mission Junior Arias Noboa, and Nelson Ramirez representing the delegation’s technical management team (photo above) were also present. Each federation representative was given a document from the national anti-doping agency. More info on

© Spanish NOC

The Spanish NOC jointly hosted the 2nd meeting of the year of the executive committee of the European Olympic Committees (EOC), as well as the EOC’s annual seminar. The meetings took place in Tarragona, the host city of the 2017 Mediterranean Games. King Felipe VI was present for the presentation of the official mascot of the Games, “Tarracus”, along with EOC President Patrick Joseph Hickey, Alejandro Blanco, NOC President and EOC executive committee member, and Amar Addadi, President of the International Committee of Mediterranean Games (CIJM). The 2017 Mediterranean Games will take place from 30 June to 9 July, welcoming around 4,000 athletes from 26 countries. More info on

The world’s oldest Olympic champion, Sándor Tarics (photo), has died at the age of 102 in San Francisco (USA), the Hungarian NOC said on its website ( on 21 May. Born in 1913 in Budapest, he won a gold medal with the Hungarian water polo team at the Olympic Games Berlin 1936. An engineer by profession, he left Hungary in 1948 and then taught in the USA while conducting research in seismology.

© Olympic Council of Ireland

The Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) has donated €80,000 worth of sportswear to the Irish Red Cross for migrants arriving in Ireland under the Irish Refugee Protection Programme. The donation is the result of a grant from the IOC to the OCI, as part of an emergency fund set up by the IOC to help NOCs put in place initiatives to help refugees. The OCI was able to increase its support through an additional donation by New Balance, its Olympic clothing sponsor. The donation, which consists of footwear and sports clothing for adults and children, will be distributed by the Irish Red Cross as part of their efforts to support refugees in Ireland. The President of the OCI, IOC EB Member Patrick Joseph Hickey (left) presented the donation to the Secretary General of the Irish Red Cross, Liam O’Dwyer (right). NOC Secretary General Dermot Henihan was also present. More info on

© Lithuanian NOC

The 24th General Assembly of the European Non-Governmental Sports Organisation (ENGSO) took place in Vilnius (Lithuania) on 13 and 14 May. The President of the Lithuanian NOC and member of the European Olympic Committees (EOC), Daina Gudzineviciute (photo), welcomed the participants representing 50 NOCs and the sports federations of 20 countries. The assembly, hosted by the Lithuanian Union of Sport Federations, approved ENGSO’s strategy and budget, and heard reports from its commissions.

Lithuania’s Presidential Sports Council and NOC hosted the first forum for non-governmental sports organisations in Vilnius on 12 May. More than 200 representatives of over 70 sports federations, unions and clubs from all over Lithuania took part. The aim of the forum, which was opened by Lithuania’s President, Valdas Adamkus, was to discuss the role of NGOs in sport and to share good practices. The participants signed a resolution, agreeing unanimously to support leadership, autonomy and implementation of good practices. More info on

A course on science applied to football took place from 11 to 13 May at the headquarters of the Venezuelan NOC in Caracas as part of the Olympic Solidarity programme. The technical director of development and national coach of the Venezuelan Football Federation, Augusto Viso, the Secretary General of the football coaching college, Luis Gallardo, and NOC representative José Luis Hernández were present. The theoretical part of the course took place at the NOC headquarters, with practical sessions at the Brígido Iriarte Stadium. The participants came from the Anzoátegui National Sports League and the coaching school. More info on


RIO 2016

On 12 May the uniforms that staff and volunteers will be wearing at the Olympic Games Rio 2016 were unveiled at Samba City, the heart of Rio’s Carnival preparations, where the city’s samba schools prepare their flamboyant costumes and floats for the world-famous parade. The striking uniforms in red, blue, green and yellow reflect the character and identity of the Games, its people, and the landscape (see photo above). Carlos Arthur Nuzman, President of the Rio 2016 Organising Committee, attended the ceremony in the company of mascots Tom and Vinicius, who were also dressed in the uniform. Complete press release here.


During the executive committee meeting of the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA), which took place on 5 and 6 May 2016 in Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe), the Algerian NOC unveiled the logo and mascot of the 3rd African Youth Games. Algiers, the country’s capital, hosted the All-Africa Games in 1978 and 2007, and is now preparing to welcome the youth event in July 2018. The ANOCA Newsletter has devoted a special issue to the presentation of the symbols of the games, including an interview with Mustapha Berraf, President of the Algerian NOC and ANOCA Vice-President. More info on

On 19 May the President of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), Craig Reedie, appointed Richard H. McLaren as the independent person to head its Sochi investigation. Richard McLaren was a member of WADA’s three-person Independent Commission, led by founding WADA President Richard W. Pound, which exposed widespread doping in Russian athletics. Professor McLaren will work independently, with the support of a multi-disciplinary team. He has significant experience in the world of international sports law, including as a longstanding member of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). More info at

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