IOC to spend $20M to fight doping, match-fixing
The International Olympic Committee is putting up $20 million to
fight doping and match-fixing – considered the two biggest threats
to the credibility of the games.
New IOC President Thomas Bach announced the funding projects
Saturday following an unprecedented four-day ”brainstorming
session” with his executive board in the Swiss resort of Montreux
that focused on key issues for the future of the Olympics.
Bach, who was elected in September to succeed Jacques Rogge as
president, has moved quickly to set his own course for the IOC and
push what he calls the ”Olympic Agenda 2020.”
He said the board agreed to create a $10 million fund to pay for
research into developing new and improved techniques for catching
drug cheats. The IOC is asking national governments to contribute
the same amount to the World Anti-Doping Agency for its own
Also, the IOC is setting up a $10 million fund ”to protect the
clean athlete from any kind of manipulation or related
corruption,” a reference to match-fixing and illegal betting.
The IOC will sign a memorandum of understanding in early 2014
with the international police agency Interpol and set up a special
monitoring program – the ”Integrity Betting Intelligence System”
– to check for any irregularities at the Olympics.
Bach said the IOC wants to investigate whether there are more
reliable and effective methods than standard urine and blood tests,
citing testing of hair or cell samples among the possibilities.
”It would be very helpful if there would be another test method
where we could find prohibited substances for a longer time,” Bach
said in a conference call. ”This is an issue we want to address in
The initiative comes at a time when the IOC is retesting doping
samples from the 2006 Turin Olympics with an improved steroid
detection method. The Turin results should be completed in the
coming days, with athletes facing possible retroactive
disqualification and loss of medals.
The IOC board also took addressed the issue of ”legacy” in
Olympic host cities, deciding to set up a working group on ”cost
management” for the games. The move comes amid increasing scrutiny
over the high costs associated with staging the Olympics –
including the record $50 billion price tag for the coming Sochi
Games in Russia.
With six cities submitting bids last month for the 2022 Winter
Games, Bach said the IOC is asking them to make the broadest use
possible of temporary venues or facilities that can be dismantled.
The bid cities are Oslo; Stockholm; Lviv, Ukraine; Beijing; Krakow,
Poland; and Almaty, Kazakhstan.
The board also decided to showcase three new sports in next
year’s Youth Olympics in Nanjing, China – roller sports,
skateboarding and sport climbing. All three have failed in bids for
inclusion in the full Olympics.
Bach has said the Youth Games – which debuted in 2010 in
Singapore – could be a testing ground for sports seeking to join
Bach said he is looking for more flexibility in the sports
program, and reiterated that baseball and softball could still be
included in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Other sports could be brought
in by trimming existing disciplines.
On another issue, the IOC took a first step toward possible
creation of an Olympic TV channel, commissioning a feasibility
study by the Olympic Broadcasting Services. Such a channel would
broadcast Olympic sports during the years between the games, giving
lower-profile sports a chance to promote themselves and reach a
The IOC board also used the Montreux retreat to talk about
potential changes to the Olympic sports program, the bidding
process, the 70-year age limit for IOC members and other issues –
changes that would require approval by the full IOC.
Bach declined to give details on those discussions, saying those
issues will come up for debate at the IOC general assembly in Sochi
in February. Proposals and recommendations will be drawn up and
submitted for approval at an extraordinary IOC session on Dec. 6-7
”It was very good for me to see on the principle issues there
is broad consensus within the executive board,” Bach said. ”They
were receptive to changes on all the issues.”
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