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17 Jun 2005
IOC News

The President answers internet surfers’ questions

During the evening, the President answered a series of questions asked by the public via the IOC’s website. Here are some of his answers.

Q: Is it still possible to believe in clean sport?
R: Yes, I believe so. But we must not be naïve. Among the 800 million people who practise sport each day, there are sinners as well as saints! Doping is to sport what criminality is to society. We have to remain vigilant, and in particular equip ourselves with the tools needed to combat doping. Because the health of athletes and credibility of sport among young people are at stake. The day when mothers no longer want their children to go to a club to avoid their coming into contact with doping products, it will be too late. It is up to the IOC to promote the values and benefits of sport and warn against doping and its dangers.

Q: Why has the IOC never given the Games to South America or Africa? Does the President think that this is possible in the near future?
The Olympic Games are the celebration of sport and athletic achievement. The IOC’s job is to give the Games to cities which are capable of staging high-quality competitions for the athlete's from across the globe, who have trained hard to reach the Olympic qualifying standards. An athlete will be able to compete in the Games and hope for a medal once, or at best twice in his career, which is not a lot. The Olympic Games are 28 world championships held in the same city at the same time. That is a massive task!

As a result, the number of cities capable of hosting the Olympic Games today is still relatively small. However, the IOC is pleased to see more and more candidatures from Africa and South America, and hopes to see the Games held there one day. After the football World Cup, it is highly likely that Cape Town will bid again. Rio was an applicant city for the Games in 2012. We encourage these cities to bid, as even if they are not chosen, the process is always beneficial.

Q: What would Pierre de Coubertin think of the Olympic Movement today?
R: I think he would be proud. The fundamental principles of the Olympic Games have not changed. Their success still lies in their rarity. They are held only once every four years, and are thus very special for an athlete, an event not to be missed during a relatively short career. Then, like in a Greek tragedy, there is also the unity of time: 16 days, no more and no less; of place: one city; and of action – the world’s best athletes gather to compete together. And the symbols – the flame, flag and Olympic oaths, as well as the unique gathering of the athletes in the Olympic Village - are still the same.

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