In Bern, Switzerland, the IOC President met Federal Councillor Guy Parmelin, Head of the Federal Department of Defence, Public Safety and Sport. The two men discussed issues of common interest, Switzerland’s place in the Olympic Movement, the upcoming Winter Youth Olympic Games (YOG) Lausanne 2020 and a possible Swiss candidature for the Olympic Winter Games.
A delegation led by the new President of the British Olympic Association, Hugh Robertson, was welcomed by the IOC President. Strengthening the fight against doping and the preparations for the next Olympic Games were at the heart of their discussions.
IOC / Christophe Moratal
The President also met Jürg Stahl, the new President of the Swiss NOC and President of the Swiss National Council. The preparations for the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 and the Winter YOG Lausanne 2020 were the focus of the meeting.
With Spanish NOC President Alejandro Blanco, the discussions focused on the continued implementation of the recommendations of Olympic Agenda 2020, and on the next editions of the Olympic Games and YOG.
Meetings were also held with IOC Vice President Uğur Erdener, IOC Executive Board Members Gunilla Lindberg and Sergey Bubka, and IOC Members Denis Oswald, Pierre-Olivier Beckers-Vieujant and Camiel Eurlings, with whom various topical issues were addressed.
At The Olympic Museum in Lausanne, President Bach met Yangzhou Municipal Party Secretary Xie Zhengyi, with whom he discussed preparations for the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022.
The President also met Dennis Jonsson, the President and CEO of Tetra Pak, the headquarters of which adjoin those of the IOC in Lausanne.
OTHER OLYMPIC NEWS
Following the allegations made in the French newspaper Le Monde, the IOC issued the following statement on 3 March. “The IOC has taken note of the serious allegations made in the French newspaper Le Monde regarding the vote to select the host city of the Olympic Games 2016. The IOC is “Partie Civile” to the ongoing procedure initiated by the French Judicial authorities against former IAAF President Mr Lamine Diack and his son Papa Massata Diack, the then marketing consultant of the IAAF. The IOC remains fully committed to clarifying this situation, working in cooperation with the prosecutor. This cooperation has already led to the fact that Mr Lamine Diack, who was previously an IOC Honorary Member, has not held any function within the IOC since November 2015. The IOC will be contacting the French Judicial authorities again in order to receive information on which the article in Le Monde appears to be based.
As far as Mr Fredericks is concerned, he informed the IOC and explained the situation and emphasised his innocence immediately upon being contacted by the journalist. The IOC trusts that Mr Fredericks will bring all the elements to prove his innocence against these allegations made by Le Monde. According to Mr Fredericks, the alleged payment was made by Pamodzi Sports Consulting, which was run by Papa Massata Diack and in connection with the promotion, development of sporting properties in connection with the IAAF Marketing Programme, IAAF events and the marketing of the African Athletics Programme 2007/2011. Mr Fredericks had a marketing contract with Pamodzi Sports Consulting running from 2007 to 2011. He turned to the IAAF Ethics Commission already yesterday. Immediately after a link was made between this contractual payment and the vote for the host city of the Olympic Games 2016, Mr Fredericks himself also turned to the IOC Ethics Commission which is now following up on all the allegations in order to fully clarify this matter.”
On 1 March, the IOC issued a statement underlining that, following the US Congress hearing on the future of the international fight against doping, there was once again uncertainty about roles and responsibilities, and about the future reforms of WADA. Read the full statement in which the IOC lays out the proposals of the Olympic Movement on the fight about doping here.
The Sport and Rights Alliance (SRA), which includes Transparency International Germany, UNI World Athletes, Terre des Hommes, the International Trade Union Confederation, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, welcomed changes to the Host City Contract 2024, which now includes a section designed to strengthen provisions protecting human rights and countering fraud and corruption related to the organisation of the Olympic Games. “Strengthening transparency, good governance and accountability are key elements of Olympic Agenda 2020. Based on these principles, the IOC is moving forward by including provisions in the Host City Contract aimed specifically at protecting human rights and countering corruption,” said the IOC President. “We worked closely with SRA and we welcome its input, which is now reflected in the new version of the Host City Contract”, he added. Read the news here.
The Olympic Channel recently concluded agreements with eight new sports organisations. The Federation of International Bandy (FIB), World DanceSport Federation (WDSF), International Committee of Sports for the Deaf (ICSD), International Orienteering Federation (IOF), Union Internationale Motonautique (UIM), International Racquetball Federation (IRF), International School Sport Federation (ISF) and World Underwater Federation (CMAS) join the 41 sports federations and organisations that have announced similar agreements with the Olympic Channel.
INTERNATIONAL SPORTS FEDERATIONS
Norwegian Olympic rower Nils Jakob Hoff (photo), a medical student at the University of Bergen, has won World Rowing’s “Filippi Spirit Award” 2016. This award honours university rowers who demonstrate the essential values of rowing. Hoff and a fellow student created the University of Bergen’s rowing club to share the values of rowing with their fellow students. The club now has over 60 active rowers, half of whom are women. While still studying, Hoff took part in the Olympic Games London 2012 and Rio 2016. He is also double sculls world champion. Read the news here.
The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) has signed an 11-year strategic partnership with Nike. This agreement comes into effect during the year that sees the launch of FIBA’s Competition System 2017+. Nike becomes a FIBA Partner in the sports apparel (clothing, footwear and accessories) product category. As such, it has sponsorship rights for all men's and women's editions of FIBA's competitions for the 2017-27 period. Read the news here.
The Indian Boxing Federation welcomed over 100 commission members of the International Boxing Association (AIBA) in New Delhi on 27 and 28 February. Recommendations for the Tokyo 2020 roadmap were finalised and shared during the meetings. With the focus placed firmly on optimising the structure of the Tokyo 2020 boxing competition, the meetings built on the first reforms of the new Olympic cycle initiated at the end of 2016. Read the news here.
Following the first meeting of the new Executive Committee of the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG), Jani Tanskanen from Finland decided to step down from his position as FIG Athletes’ Commission President due to a possible conflict of interests and incompatibility with his new position as an elected EC member. During its meeting in Lausanne on 28 February, the Athletes’ Commission elected Liubou Charkashyna (photo) from Belarus, 2012 Olympic bronze medallist in rhythmic gymnastics, as President until a new election can be held. This vote will take place in December 2017 or January 2018. Read the full news here.
With the National Federations’ contribution and expertise, the International Swimming Federation (FINA) has awarded 36 young athletes a FINA Scholarship from 6 to 12 months. These athletes from 36 NFs have started training under the FINA Scholarship Programme, which aims to help the aspiring champions to qualify and participate in the 17th FINA World Championships, to be held from 15 to 30 July in Budapest (Hungary). All these swimmers either train within their NF training programmes (when validated by FINA) or they can join one of the FINA-approved training centres, in Thanyapura (Thailand), the Spire Institute in Geneva (Ohio, USA) and soon the FINA Development Centre in Dakar (Senegal). Read the news here.
The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) has launched a new Youth Commission to further position baseball and softball among the leaders in youth sport. The WBSC Executive Committee approved the establishment of this Commission at its meeting in Rome on 25 February, hosted at the headquarters of the Italian NOC, where NOC President Giovanni Malagò and IOC Member Mario Pescante warmly welcomed the participants. During the meeting, the new WBSC Development Programme was also introduced. It aims to optimise and boost the sport of baseball/softball globally, particularly in high-potential territories leading to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and beyond. More info at www.wbsc.org.
The International Ski Federation (FIS) and the National Anti-Doping Agency of Finland successfully spread the anti-doping message to hundreds of athletes, coaches and support personnel during an Outreach Programme at the recent FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Lahti (Finland). At the athletes’ village in Vierumäki, competitors and their entourages were invited to demonstrate their commitment to clean sport by signing a giant snowball and having their photograph taken to say NO! to doping. The initiative was taken up by over 400 of the world’s leading athletes, coaches and support personnel. More info at www.fis-ski.com.
NATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEES
The Albanian NOC recently organised a seminar with the national sports federations, during which it presented the Olympic Solidarity programmes for 2017-20. Organised in Tirana, this seminar was attended by about 30 NOC member federations and sports associations, representatives of the Ministry of Education and Sport, members of the NOC Executive Committee and several national media. NOC President Viron Bezhani confirmed the importance of Olympic Solidarity World Programmes, from which the NOC has benefited significantly. Deputy Minister of Ministry of Education and Sport Rauf Dimraj highlighted the NOC’s contribution to the development of sport and the importance of Olympic education at school. The Olympic Solidarity programmes were broadly defined and explained by NOC Secretary General Stavri Bello.
The Algerian NOC organised training for sports leaders, under the aegis of Olympic Solidarity, from 19 to 22 February. The participants were the managers of national sports federations, and students from the Dély Ibrahim Sports Sciences and Technology Graduate School (ESSTS) in Algiers. The subjects addressed on the course included the history of the Olympic Movement, administration and management, sports sciences, sports training and competition.
At the Ecuadorian Athletics Federation Gala honouring the best athletes of 2016, Ecuadorian NOC President Augusto Morán Nuques presented the Olympic participant pin to 21 athletes who competed at the Olympic Games Rio 2016. Some 18 other athletes who took part in Rio in other sports also received this distinction. Info at www.coe.org.ec.
The rise of new communications models and social networks were at the centre of the discussions on the first day of the programme for directors of Spanish sports organisations and federations. This programme was organised by the Spanish NOC and the Higher Institute of Law and Business Studies (ISDE). The day was kicked off by NOC President Alejandro Blanco, Alberto Palomar, an expert in sports law and a member of the NOC Assembly, and Jorge Pintó, President of the ISDE (photo above). Organised over seven days, this programme provides practical experience in the framework of sports administration. Info at www.coe.es.
Following the Opening Ceremony of the 8th Asian Winter Games in Sapporo, the Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) hosted the JOC Reception. IOC Member and JOC President Tsunekazu Takeda welcomed Olympic Council Asia (OCA) President and IOC Member Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, as well as IOC Vice-President John Coates, IOC EB Member Gunilla Lindberg, IOC Members René Fasel, Ung Chang, Tony Estanguet, Lawrence F. Probst III, and Seung Min Ryu, IOC Honorary Member Julio César Maglione, the Mayor of Sapporo City and many other distinguished guests from the IOC, OCA, IFs, NOCs, National Federations and others. Olympic Champion Hiroyasu Shimizu (speed skating 500m, Nagano 1998) served as the MC. At the 8th Asian Winter Games, 32 NOCs from Asia and Oceania competed in five sports and 64 disciplines from 19 to 26 February at the venues across Sapporo and Obihiro. More info at www.joc.or.jp.
Mexican Olympic Committee
A ceremony for the athletes who participated in the Olympic Games Rio 2016 took place at the premises of the Mexican Olympic Committee in Mexico City on 26 January. Alongside NOC President Carlos Padilla Becerra, officials from national and international sports organisations and government authorities attended the event, as well as medallists from past editions of the Olympic Games and members of the media. IOC Honorary Member Olegario Vázquez Raña officially presented the Olympic participant pins to the five Olympic medallists. The pins were also given to all the Mexican delegation present at the Rio Games. A special distinction was awarded to María del Rosario Espinoza as the best Mexican female athlete for winning her third consecutive medal at the Olympic Games. A plaque with the names of the five athletes was also unveiled. More info at www.com.org.mx.
The Swaziland Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association (SOCGA), in conjunction with Swaziland National Sports and Recreational Council, hosted the Capacity Building workshop on 25 and 26 February at the Olympafrica Sports Development Centre. The workshop brought together 54 Secretaries General and Treasurers from National Sports Associations to learn about the NOC and the Council’s policies and procedures as well as programmes for the period 2017-2020. Amongst the attendees were the Minister of Sports, Culture and Youth Affairs, David Ngcamphalala, NOC President Peter Shongwe, and Council Chairman Lawrence Mthethwa. More info at www.socga.org.sz.
For the third consecutive year, the Venezuelan NOC organised a campaign named “Three Rs: Reduce, Re-use, Recycle”. Days devoted to environmental protection and recycling were thus organised in different locations on the Venezuelan coast, with in some places the presence of the NOC and Olympic athletes. These days are part of Olympic Solidarity and Pan-American Olympic Solidarity projects. Activities were also on offer for those in the local communities and tourists in these places.
At a ceremony held in PyeongChang on 28 February, the President of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), Philip Craven, officially invited the National Paralympic Committees worldwide to take part in the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games. Up to 670 Para athletes from 45 countries are expected in PyeongChang from 9 to 18 March 2018. Read the news here.
Generations for Peace
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and Generations For Peace have announced an expansion of their Social Cohesion in Host Communities Programme. The programme works in youth centres and community centres in urban centres and towns with large numbers of Syrian refugees. The programme is now expanding from 16 to 40 communities, and will involve 8,000 participants in 2017. The announcement followed the presentation by Generations For Peace Founder and Chairman Prince Feisal Al Hussein of certificates to the association’s youth leaders for their outstanding delivery of the programme over the last two years. Read the news here.