The Executive Board (EB) of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) today wrapped up two days of meetings with reports from the Organising Committees and Coordination Commission chairs of upcoming Olympic Games, including Rio 2016, PyeongChang 2018 and Tokyo 2020.
The Organising Committee for the Olympic Games Rio 2016 gave an update on the status of preparations. The delegation was joined by Mayor Eduardo Paes by video conference, who highlighted the fact that despite the current political and economic climate in Brazil, public support for the Olympic Games was over 70 per cent in the city of Rio de Janeiro. The Organising Committee announced that they have balanced their budget. The delivery of all test events has gone well, and construction of facilities is progressing according to schedule. The report also included an update on water quality testing in Guanabara Bay, which will switch from monthly to weekly testing as of May and daily testing at Games time, according to World Health Organisation (WHO) parameters.
Mayor Paes assured the Executive Board that the Zika outbreak was under control in Rio de Janeiro, with numerous preventive measures being taken. Weather conditions from May onwards with the onset of the dry season will also help to improve the situation. IOC President Thomas Bach underscored the close cooperation between the IOC and WHO, which has expressed its confidence in safe and successful Olympic Games this August.
The Executive Board was reassured that Metro Line 4 linking the Olympic Park with the rest of Rio de Janeiro would open in July. A new VLT tram is currently in the testing phase and is scheduled to open to the public in April. The Olympic Village is expected to be delivered this month.
The route of the Olympic Torch Relay was presented. The lighting ceremony in Olympia will take place on 21 April 2016 and the flame will arrive in Brasilia on 3 May 2016 before travelling across the whole country, visiting 329 cities and towns.
IOC / Christophe Moratal
An update on the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 was delivered by POCOG Chairman Cho Yang-ho and IOC Coordination Commission Chair Gunilla Lindberg. The success of recent test events was highlighted, as was the construction of the high-speed train from Seoul. An initial meeting was held during the test events between the Organising Committees for PyeongChang, Tokyo and Beijing to discuss cooperation and collaboration between these Olympic cities.
The Organising Committee for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 gave an overview of the progress of preparations, which continue to meet all their milestones. A contractor has been selected to complete the construction of the new National Stadium. The venue should be completed by end of November 2019. Coordination Commission Chair John Coates called the success of Tokyo 2020’s marketing programme “unprecedented”, with 28 partners already signed. The selection of the logo for the Games is progressing well, with 15,000 entries received from the public in Japan and worldwide. A final selection of the logo is expected this spring.
The Organising Committee for the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 has been established.
The EB also received reports on the host cities of upcoming Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires 2018 and Lausanne 2020. A recap of the successful Winter Youth Olympic Games Lillehammer 2016 was also given.
On Tuesday, the EB agreed to make doping results management and sanctioning during the Olympic Games independent by delegating to an independent body. A new Anti-Doping Division of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) will handle cases from the Olympic Games Rio 2016 onwards.
A number of other decisions were made in the lead-up to the Olympic Games Rio 2016, including the change of nationalities for 11 athletes. Those members who had a conflict of interests absented themselves from these discussions:
- Ms Anna BURIAK (Modern Pentathlon) from Ukraine to Russia
- Ms Lasma LIEPA (Canoe) from Latvia to Turkey
- Ms Otgontsetseg GALBADRAKH (Judo) from Mongolia to Kazakhstan
- Ms Cansel DENIZ (Taekwondo) from Turkey to Kazakhstan
- Mr Chakir ANSARI (Wrestling) from France to Morocco
- Mr Oliver DINGLEY (Swimming) from Great Britain to Ireland
- Ms Emily BOYD (Swimming) from Australia to Great Britain
- Ms Iryna KHOKHLOVA (Modern Pentathlon) from Ukraine to Argentina
- Ms Victoria SOLNCEVA, now Ms Viktoria Zeynep GÜNES, (Swimming) from Ukraine to Turkey
- Mr Maksim OBEREMKO (Sailing) from Ukraine to Russia
- Mr Ruslans NAKONECNIJS (Modern Pentathlon) from Ukraine to Latvia
In a report on NOC relations, an update was given on the suspended NOC of Kuwait. In the context of the five legal proceedings that have been initiated by various Kuwaiti sports organisations in front of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) and in front of the Lausanne Civil Court, the IOC notes the recent positive provisional decisions taken so far in its favour. In particular, the CAS rejected four Appellants’ requests for a stay of the challenged decisions pending the issuance of an award on the merits.
On the sport front, the EB took note of the technical decision of the International Boxing Association (AIBA) to remove the head guards for male competitors at the Olympic Games. AIBA provided medical and technical data that demonstrated that the number of concussions is actually lower without head guards.
The EB approved a proposal from the IOC Medical and Scientific Commission to make it compulsory for the first time at the Olympic Games Rio 2016 for all doctors to comply with the Olympic Movement Medical Code as a condition of their registration for the Olympic Games. Any violation could lead to the withdrawal of their accreditation.
With a focus on protecting clean athletes, an athlete replacement plan was approved by the EB that will see athletes who fail doping tests ahead of the Olympic Games being replaced by the next best-ranked clean athlete. The IOC will work with each International Federation (IF) to ensure that the reallocation process is best suited to each individual sport.
IOC / Christophe Moratal
The EB received a full report on the progress of the Olympic Channel. Preparations for the launch of the Channel are going well, with 51 staff members representing 18 different nationalities already on board.
IOC Athletes’ Commission Chair Claudia Bokel provided an update on the recent launch of the newly revamped Olympic Athletes’ Hub, a digital platform for Olympians and other elite athletes, and gave a sneak preview of the IOC Athletes’ Space for the Olympic Games Rio 2016.
With regard to the implementation of Olympic Agenda 2020, the IOC’s strategic roadmap for the future of the Olympic Movement, the EB heard that all 40 recommendations have either already been implemented or are in the process of being implemented. A total of 144 deliverables are scheduled for 2016.
The EB also approved the operational aspects concerning refugee athletes who will take part in the Olympic Games Rio 2016. For more information click here.