On Tuesday 4 June 2002, the IOC President attended the opening of the permanent headquarters of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in Montreal (Canada), in the presence of WADA Chairman Richard Pound; Richard Legendre, Quebec Minister responsible for Youth, Tourism and Sport; Paul De Villers, Canadian Secretary of State for Amateur Sport; and a large number of representatives of governments and the Olympic Movement. This week, the IOC President met David D'Alessandro, President of the John Hancock insurance company.
The IOC confirmed this week that eight cities have applied to become candidates to host the XXI Olympic Winter Games in 2010. The cities are: Vancouver (Canada), Sarajevo (Bosnia-Herzegovina), Jaca (Spain), Salzburg (Austria), Pyeongchang (Korea), Harbin (People's Republic of China), Bern (Switzerland) and Andorre-la-Vieille (Andorra). The order of the applicants was determined by drawing lots. The eight cities answered the questionnaire sent to them last December before the IOC deadline of midnight on 31 May. The eight questionnaires will be studied by a working group composed of members of the IOC administration and external advisers who, on the basis of the 11 criteria defined, will analyse the capacity of each city to organise and stage high level international multi-sports events. The working group will present the findings of their study to the IOC Executive Board meeting on 28 and 29 August in Lausanne, and the Board will draw up the list of official candidate cities. The host city will be selected and announced at the 115th IOC Session in July 2003 in Prague
International sports issues
During the meeting of its Board on 4 June in Montreal, WADA endorsed the draft language of the World Anti-Doping Code it aims to enact by the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. In its current form, the Code would standardise anti-doping policies around the world and bar national governments, National Olympic Committees (NOCs) and International Sports Federations (IFs) from hosting and participating in certain competitions, including the Olympic Games, for non-compliance with its provisions. This new Code, built on the strengths of the Olympic Movement Anti-Doping Code and various other related anti-doping codes, seeks to simplify, harmonise and expand those existing codes. The draft was developed through consultation with a large representative group of the stakeholders in the fight against doping, including governments, national drug testing agencies, doping control laboratories, the IOC, the IFs and the NOCs. Once revised to reflect the comments made, the approved draft will once again be circulated to all the stakeholders for more thorough consultation on 10 June. After this three-month consultation round, a final draft will be developed and submitted to the same parties at a world conference on anti-doping in February or March 2003. WADA expects the sports movement to implement the provisions of the Code by the end of 2003, so that it will be effective for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.
On 30 May, the European Union agreed to make 2004, year of the Games of the XXVIII Olympiad in Athens, the European Year of Education Through Sport. This initiative would see projects at EU and national level aimed not only at promoting cooperation between educational institutions and sports organisations, but also boosting the practice of sport and the dissemination of its values within education. A budget of 11.5 million euros is planned for this project, which has yet to receive approval from the European Parliament. On 31 May, as it does each year, the World Health Organisation (WHO) held its World No Tobacco Day, with the theme this year of Tobacco-Free Sports. The day coincided with the opening of the football World Cup in Seoul (Korea). This year, the WHO's highest tobacco control award has been given to the International Football Federation (FIFA) in recognition of its tobacco control work, culminating in its decision to declare the 2002 World Cup tobacco free. As part of a Memorandum of Cooperation signed between WHO and FIFA, there is no tobacco advertising or promotion at World Cup venues and tobacco and tobacco products are on sale at the games in Korea and Japan. There is no smoking in public areas, and specially designated smoking zones are few and clearly demarcated, situated away from the general public, protecting them from exposure to second-hand smoke. The anti-tobacco front in sport is growing all the time, and, as well as the IOC, which has supported the WHO's efforts since 1988, the International Fencing Federation (FIE), and the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) have also committed to banning tobacco from competition venues. For its part, the IOC has been awarded the Goethe Challenge Trophy by the Goethe Endowment for Non-Smoking Committee and the German Medical Association. The presentation took place at the Olympic Museum, in the presence of Christoph Rachka, of the Johann Wolfgang von Goethe University in Frankfurt, Douglas Bettcher from the WHO in Geneva, and IOC member Pál Schmitt.
On 29 May, the International Rowing Federation (FISA) announced the qualification system for the 2004 Olympic Games regatta in Athens. A total of 550 athletes (358 men and 192 women) will qualify to row in the 14 events raced at the Games. The constitution phase of the Foundation Board of the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) concluded on 5 June with the nomination of Nadia Comaneci as a member of the Board. The FIG Foundation was created with the aim of offering assistance to gymnasts suffering from physical health problems during their sports career. The FIG has allocated two million Swiss francs, the interest from which will provide the funds for assistance. The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) appointed Hannes Ederer to the newly-created post of Deputy General Secretary on 1 June 2002. He had been working within the IIHF marketing department since 1997.
The IOC President last week sent a message to the organisers of the Games of the XXVIII Olympiad, encouraging them and congratulating them on the progress made.
Turin 2006 Turin became the capital of Paralympic sport on 2 June when the city organised a Paralympic Day. This event gave Piedmont school-children the chance to learn about the various sports disciplines for the disabled, as well as testing themselves against top disabled athletes. This Day was also the culmination of a pilot project launched by the European Union, the IOC and the Italian NOC dedicated to the values of sport, schools and the Olympic spirit in Europe.
Three questions to IOC President Jacques Rogge
Mr President, the Executive Board meetings in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) ended on 27 May.
What is your assessment of these meetings?
A very satisfactory result. Before the Executive Board met, the ANOC General Assembly, chaired by Mario Vázquez Raña, was a great success. They had a new format of meeting with more topical issues with moderators, and the NOC representatives seemed very happy. Moreover, the proposals made by the General Assembly seem very positive, and will be studied at our next Executive Board meeting in August in Lausanne. In Kuala Lumpur, the Board meetings were very interesting. The success of the Games in Salt Lake City means that we can be confident as we look ahead. We heard the report by Denis Oswald, who chairs the Coordination Commission for the 2004 Games in Athens, and the situation there has improved considerably in terms of venue construction and infrastructure. For Turin 2006, the Coordination Commission of the Games, chaired by Jean-Claude Killy, will be in the city on 12 and 13 June to assess progress with preparations. Finally, for the 2008 Games, based on the first contacts between Coordination Commission Chairman Hein Verbruggen and BOCOG, the prospect of superb Games in Beijing is definitely there.
In an interview you gave to the French daily L'Équipe on 28 May 2002, you reaffirmed you wish to see tough action against athletes who dope, and in particular the entourage that encourages them to do so. What does the future hold in terms of the fight against doping?
I said before and I repeat: the level of doping today is simply unacceptable. At the Executive Board meetings in Kuala Lumpur, we took the decision to disqualify the Austrian cross country skiers Marc Mayer and Achim Walcher from the Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City for violations of the Olympic Movement Anti-Doping Code. The team coach and chiropractor, Walter Mayer and Volker Muller, will be refused accreditation at the Games up to and including 2010. Believe me, the IOC never takes such sanctions against athletes light-heartedly. But even if we will certainly never win the war against doping, we must at least reduce the scale of it. And it is this message that we want to get across. In future, wherever possible, sanctions will no longer be limited just to the athletes. We shall extend them to the entourage, the coaches and doctors. The sports authorities can and must no longer be negligent in the means and measures they employ to protect the health and lives of athletes.
What are the key dates for the rest of this year?
There are many of them. In August 2002, the Executive Board will be working on the proposals made by the IOC 2000 Reform Follow-up Commission last April, with a view to producing recommendations for the extraordinary IOC Session in Mexico City at the end of November. At the same time, at the initiative of Richard Pound, Chairman of the Olympic Games Study Commission, the IOC has initiated a public consultation process so that all the constituents of the Olympic Movement, public and private sports bodies, academics and the general public can give us their ideas on how the Games should be organised. A questionnaire on this can be found on our website at www.olympic.org. This Commission will also be making provisional recommendations to the extraordinary IOC Session. The Programme Commission, chaired by Franco Carraro, will work on a number of criteria then submit recommendations to the Executive Board with a view to making the programme more consistent. Finally, where funding is concerned, after a period of expansion in many areas, the IOC will have to work on consolidating its foundations and stabilising its finances. The results of an operational audit will be presented to the Session in November.
Posted on 01 Jun 2002