“The stage is set for excellent Olympic Winter Games in 2018”
Talking to the media, the President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Thomas Bach, wrapped up the first meeting of the Executive Board of 2017 in PyeongChang, Republic of Korea, where the Olympic Winter Games will be taking place in less than a year.
“Our Executive Board meetings were a good opportunity to get more familiar with PyeongChang and, most of all, to visit the Olympic Village together with some athletes, who shared their experience”, Bach said.
“I also had the opportunity to meet the acting President and the Speaker of the National Assembly here in Korea. In both meetings, it was made clear that, despite the political divisions that the country is facing now, there is a very solid and good support for PyeongChang 2018. This is really encouraging”, Bach added.
“The visit of the Coordination Commission this week confirmed some really good progress in the facilities”, he pointed out. “The test events are going very well, and the athletes appreciate the facilities, the organisation and the hospitality. There are still some things to achieve, but is what the test events are for. We can say that the stage is set for excellent Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018”, Bach added.
“The cooperation with the Organising Committee is going very well”, Bach commented. “We were informed of the allocation of the venue for Big Air. It will take place in the western part of Beijing, which will be part of a great effort to regenerate a former industrial site, and will therefore also leave a great legacy”, he added.
Fight against doping
Following the publication yesterday of a declaration of 12 principles proposed by the Executive Board, Bach said: “This list of principles to fight doping builds on other decisions we have already taken in the past. We deem it absolutely necessary to have an anti-doping system that is at an equal distance from sports organisations and from national interests.”
“Together with other changes, we are proposing a more independent and a more robust system. The independent sanctioning power of the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which we experienced at the Olympic Games Rio 2016, was a good experience, as there was not a single appeal against any of the decisions taken there”, he observed.
“This is one of the reasons why we believe that this is the way to go for sanctioning with regard to doping. Whether it concerns organisations or whether it concerns athletes, our proposals would make the system more independent, transparent and harmonised, because in the situation where a case is related to both an athlete and an organisation, both sanctions would be imposed by the CAS, and we would avoid this double procedure that we had in the past”, he concluded.