The Executive Board (EB) of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) convened today in Lausanne for its final meeting of 2013 and the first led by President Thomas Bach since his election in September.
59 days to go to Sochi 2014
With just 59 days to go until the start of the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, the President and CEO of the Sochi 2014 Organising Committee, Dmitry Chernyshenko, updated the EB by video conference on the state of readiness of the Sochi Games and the thorough preparations that the Committee is undertaking to ensure that they are ready to welcome the world and the best winter athletes next February.
He provided a review of transport, workforce, accommodation and the Sochi 2014 anti-doping laboratory, and the EB was able to impress on him the challenges that they will face in the final two months.
The Executive Board also received news that, after discussions with the Organising Committee, the authorities plan to set up a protest zone in the city of Sochi.
Speaking after the meeting, President Bach welcomed the development and the fact that people will now have an opportunity to express their views and freely demonstrate their opinions in Sochi.
In the context of the Sochi Games, the Executive Board also discussed rules 40 and 50 of the Olympic Charter and the information that will be made available to athletes and National Olympic Committees about how those rules will be implemented. As with previous Games where similar guidelines were produced, the EB noted that the rules are put in place to protect athletes and the special atmosphere of the Olympic Village and venues.
During a presentation by the Rio 2016 Organising Committee, the EB noted the progress since the last update in Buenos Aries. But at the same time, the IOC President noted that “it is clear that there is not another day to lose. The clock is ticking and close cooperation with all levels of government is vital.”
With that in mind, the President said he was looking forward to meeting Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff to ensure close cooperation, as well as Rio Governor Sergio Cabral and Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes, before the Sochi Games. He also underlined the IOC’s continuing commitment to the success of the Games.
It was also announced that the IOC Olympic Games Executive Director, Gilbert Felli, would concentrate on Rio preparations and spend more time in the city after the Sochi Games. Even after retirement, he will continue to work closely with the Rio Organising Committee to ensure close cooperation with all levels of government.
NOC of India amends relevant clause in its constitution
The EB also heard an update on the situation of the NOC of India. On Sunday, the currently suspended NOC of India agreed to amend a clause in its constitution as requested by the IOC to meet the basic standards for ethics, good governance and integrity. The EB welcomed these latest positive developments, which pave the way for the IOC to approve the new NOC constitution and for the NOC to hold its elections as soon as possible. Should the NOC not be able to complete the remaining steps of the agreed roadmap by the start of the Sochi Games in February, the EB decided that any Indian athlete that qualifies to compete at Sochi 2014 would be allowed to compete as an independent Olympic participant under the Olympic flag. The Executive Board also made it clear that, in this event, no Indian flags or symbols would be used at the Games.
The EB heard a report on IOC member in South Korea Dae Sung Moon, whose doctorate is alleged to contain elements of plagiarism. More than a year and a half has elapsed since the investigation started in April 2012, and in the absence of a decision by the university responsible, the members of the Ethics Commission considered it impossible to leave the file open and recommended to close the case. If new elements emerge, however, the case could be reconsidered.
Architecture – Consolidation of the IOC Headquarters in Lausanne
The Executive Board looked at three projects to consolidate and renovate the headquarters of the IOC in Lausanne. The plan is to try to regroup the staff of the IOC, who are currently spread throughout Lausanne at a number of sites. The EB was impressed and inspired by the three projects it saw and will now follow up with experts to develop the three projects in the near future.
Joint meeting with ANOC
The day began with a joint meeting between the EB and the Executive Council of the Association of the National Olympic Committees (ANOC). President Bach called for a minute of silence to coincide with the memorial service for Nelson Mandela in South Africa, saying: “While we have assembled here, the world is gathering in Johannesburg to honour Mr Mandela. President Mandela was a hero of humanity and a great friend of the Olympic Movement.”
During the meeting with the ANOC representatives, President Bach encouraged the National Olympic Committees to actively participate in the ongoing dialogue regarding the future of the Olympic Movement, called the Olympic Agenda 2020. He said: “I count on the active participation of all Olympic Movement stakeholders in this process as a joint approach will be crucial for making the Olympic Agenda 2020 a reality and a success.”
Inauguration of the renovated Olympic Museum
The official inauguration of the newly renovated Olympic Museum is scheduled to take place later today. During the inauguration, a handover ceremony will be held during which IOC Honorary President Jacques Rogge will present the keys to the IOC headquarters to President Bach.
Olympic Agenda 2020
From 11 to 14 December 2013, the EB will meet to discuss the Olympic Agenda 2020. Ideas developed will be proposed for general debate at the IOC Session ahead of the Sochi 2014 Olympic Games.
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