IOC President confident Rio will deliver great Games and a great legacy

31 Jul 2016
IOC News

At his first press conference in Rio de Janeiro, the President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Thomas Bach, expressed confidence in Games preparations and the positive legacy of the Olympic Games Rio 2016 as the city prepared to welcome the world in just five days-time.

IOC President Thomas Bach - press conference IOC/Ian Jones
Things are coming together 
‘It’s coming together," said the IOC President. ‘When I arrived five days ago, I went straight to the Olympic Village. After talking to Chefs de Mission, NOCs and athletes I could sense a positive attitude and a great spirit. There has been a great deal of understanding with all the NOCs and athletes working together to make this village a success.’

A legacy already taking shape
‘The legacy of these Games is also taking shape. I was at the inauguration of the Metro Line 4 yesterday that will serve some 300’000 passengers every day. The complete renovation of the Port Maravilla, in the historical centre of Rio, has created some 9000 jobs for the population. The handball venue will become four public schools. The canoe slalom will become a park in one of the poorest neighborhood in Rio. All this is summarized in a report that we received from a renowned foundation (Fundacao Getulio Vargas) which says that Rio, thanks to the Games, has enjoyed a greater and more equitable growth than any other city in Brazil over the last seven years’, Bach explained.

IOC/Ian Jones
Olympic Games à la Brazil
‘I am looking forward to great Games’ said the President. ‘There will last minute challenges, but what we have seen so far is that Brazilians are capable of addressing challenges, and I am more confident than ever that that we will have great Games à la Brazil in five days from now’, President Bach said.

Participation of Russian athletes
The IOC President took the opportunity to run through the procedure that has to be followed by Russian athletes in order to secure their participation in the Games. ‘We (now) have a three-step procedure that the EB (IOC Executive Board) has established. No Russian athlete can be entered until he or she has gone through three filters. First, there is the filter of the international federations, who consider their tests and make individual analysis’, he said. ‘The second filter is that the Russian Olympic Committee is not allowed to enter any athlete that has been sanctioned for anti-doping. Then the third filter, the final decision, is based on the advice of an independent expert panel appointed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport. We are now at (the) third stage, where the EB has taken the decision to delegate its power to a panel of three members of the EB. This panel will now work and receive, step by step, the reports of the experts.’ he concluded.

Unprecedented anti-doping measures 
There have been many measures we’ve undertaken before the Games. We want to keep as many cheaters away from the Games as possible. We had a targeted testing programme, for which 2,200 athletes were selected, after having monitored their testing history. (These were athletes) which had made the biggest jumps in their performance. We had 700 recommendations for extra testing.’

"On top of this, we have the most comprehensive re-analysis programme for Beijing 2008 and London 2012, with 1200 tests completed. [There have been] 98 tests positive, as of today. In Rio, we will have up to 4500 tests for urine and 1000 tests for blood ’.

‘For the first time in Rio, the IOC has decided to make sanctioning independent. So if athletes are positive, they are not sanctioned by the IOC, this will go direct to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, who will independently take measures’, Bach concluded.

Olympic Channel going live at the end of the Games
The IOC President also gave an update on the Olympic Channel. 

‘The Olympic Channel is ready to go. The main goal of the Channel is to stay connected with Olympic fans and everybody interested in between the Games. The moment for the launch will be immediately after the Olympic Ceremony concludes. This is really exciting to see this big project coming to light. This is one of the milestones of Olympic Agenda 2020 that is being launched not even two years after it has been approved by the Session in Monaco. We are happy with the cooperation with the International Federations: 27 of them have entered into a cooperation agreement. We are also happy with the cooperation with our rights holders who know that the Olympic Channel is not a competition but an enhancement of their programming. It is an interesting journey in the digital world for the IOC and the Olympic Movement.’, the President concluded.

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