Spotlight on Turin as Executive Board concludes last meeting of the year
The Executive Board (EB) of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) today wrapped up two and a half days of productive meetings in Lausanne. The highlight this morning was on the Torino 2006 Olympic Winter Games, which are now just over 100 days away.
IOC Coordination Commission Chairman Jean-Claude Killy gave his last report followed by that of the TOROC team headed by Games Supervisor Mario Pescante, who confirmed that construction is almost complete. With existing sports venues having been restored and new sports venues created in previously industrial areas, Turin is nearly ready for the final touches of its magical transformation. The Olympic Truce resolution is due to be signed next week at the United Nations, while the lighting of the Olympic flame in Olympia is less than one month away. The EB approved the design of the medals and also heard about post-Games plans to ensure effective legacy use of the venues that will serve as a stage for the world’s best winter sports athletes next February.
Talking at the final press conference, IOC President Jacques Rogge said: ”I am delighted to say that all looks in good shape for excellent Games in Turin next winter. The Games organisers are coming around the final bend into the home straight. They will not, of course, cross the finish line until the Closing Ceremony, but we can say from what we see that they will reach the finish having run a great race”.
”I am also pleased to see the UNESCO International Convention Against Doping in Sport has been adopted unanimously, which shows that doping issues are dealt with seriously and that things are moving in the right direction”, he added.
The fight against doping was of course on the agenda of the EB meeting. The IOC Anti-Doping Rules that will be used during the Torino 2006 Olympic Winter Games were approved, and it was confirmed that in Turin, the number of tests will increase by 45% compared to Salt Lake City. Some 1,200 tests will be conducted during the entire period of the Games, from the opening of the Olympic Village at the end of January until the Closing Ceremony on 26 February. The tests will check for all substances present on the 2006 List of Prohibited Substances issued by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
Over the last two days, the EB met with the Executive Council of the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC), as well as the IOC Athletes’ Commission. It also heard updates on the preparations of the Olympic Games in Beijing 2008, Vancouver 2010, and London 2012 as well as reports on the IOC administration and various commissions’ fields of activities, including relations with National Olympic Committees (NOCs), marketing, finance, technology, legal affairs, medical issues, sports, ethics, communications, TV rights and international cooperation.
On the Olympic programme, the IOC President explained that a consultation process had been launched in recognition of the fact that the system used to review the programme could be improved, and that he had asked the associations of Olympic and Recognised International Sports Federations, National Olympic Committees, and the Athletes’ Commission to make proposals. These proposals will be harmonised by the Olympic Programme Commission, which will submit a report to the EB at the end of 2006. Eventual changes would then be proposed to the Session in Guatemala City in 2007.
During its meeting, the EB took a number of decisions for the events of the Beijing Games. These will lead to an increase in the number of female athletes taking part in the Games.
The EB will next meet from 5 to 7 February in Turin prior to the Torino 2006 Olympic Winter Games.
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