Olympic Highlights 11/11/2019

IOC / Greg Martin IOC / Greg Martin



Addressing the 1,500 delegates attending the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)’s Fifth World Conference on Doping in Sport in Katowice (Poland), IOC President Thomas Bach encouraged all stakeholders in the fight against doping to “join hands to send a strong signal of determination, cooperation and credibility to the athletes of the world and the general public”.

In his speech (full text here), the IOC President announced a commitment of USD 10 million by the IOC to support a four-point action plan aimed at strengthening the fight against doping. In addition to this new plan, the IOC President insisted on the need for better cooperation with governments when it comes to identifying and sanctioning those in the athletes’ entourage involved in doping cases. “We need zero tolerance for everybody: athletes AND entourage,” he said. He also outlined the increased support from the IOC to anti-doping since the last WADA World Conference in Johannesburg in 2013, highlighting in particular the importance of setting up the International Testing Agency (ITA). The President also underlined the importance for the global anti-doping community of creating an international level playing field for all athletes. Full press release here.

IOC / Greg Martin IOC / Greg Martin
From Warsaw, the IOC President went to Gdansk where he was given the title of “doctor honoris causa” of the University in recognition of “his contribution to the development of the International Olympic Committee and in his activities in support of human rights and world peace.” The citation also made reference to the success of the Olympic Agenda 2020 reform programme, to “clean” sports and athletes’ rights. Previous recipients of the award have included Lech Wałęsa, Elie Wiesel, former French President François Mitterrand and the former German President, Richard von Weizsäcker, whom the President had known personally. Accepting the distinction awarded during a ceremony, which marked the 50th anniversary of the University, the President said: “The University of Gdansk brings together so many of the elements that are at the heart of the IOC and the Olympic Games, and our goal to make the world a better place through sport. Solidarity is another core value of “our” university that resonates all the more here in Gdansk, the city of freedom, where the Solidarity Movement of Poland was born,” he added. Also present was the President of the Polish Olympic Committee, Andrzej Kraśnicki. Among those sending congratulations to the President and to Gdansk University was the Polish Prime Minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, whose letter of congratulations was read out at the ceremony in the magnificent “Dwór Artusa” Museum in the Old Town of Gdansk. Full press release here.

IOC / Greg Martin IOC / Greg Martin
Also in Gdansk, the IOC President visited the Gdansk Foil School and had the opportunity to meet and talk with young fencers. The Gdansk Foil School is one of the best sports centres in Poland. Many fencing champions have trained there, and since 2009 the School has had an agreement in place with FC Tauberbischofsheim, the IOC President’s home sports club.
IOC / Greg Martin IOC / Greg Martin
Back in Lausanne, President Bach welcomed the President of the Israeli NOC, Igal Carmi, accompanied by IOC Member Alex Gilady and Ilana Romano and Ankie Spitzer, the widows of the Israeli athletes who were victims of the attack during the Olympic Games Munich 1972. They discussed together the remembrance ceremony that will be organised at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 in tribute to all those who have died at an edition of the Olympic Games.

The IOC President met the President of the International Fencing Federation (FIE), Alisher Usmanov, with whom he discussed several Olympic topics such as the preparations for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and the upcoming FIE Annual Congress in Lausanne at the end of November.

With International Handball Federation (IHF) President Hassan Moustafa, discussions focused mainly on the preparations for the Olympic handball tournament at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

The IOC President met the President of the Oman NOC, Seyed Khalid Bin Hamad Al Busaidi who paid a courtesy visit to the IOC.

With NBC Sports Chairman Mark Lazarus, discussions focused on the long-standing partnership between the IOC and NBC, the coverage for the upcoming editions of the Olympic Games as well as the “Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA”, a branch of the Olympic Channel in the United States. The President was accompanied by IOC Member Alex Gilady.

With the President and CEO of the World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry (WFSGI), Robbert De Kock, the IOC President spoke about the collaboration between the two organisations in the framework of the NOC support programme. 

The President also met Tatiana Valovaya, the Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva. Together they discussed the close links between their two organisations and the Olympic Truce Resolution for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, which will be formally submitted to the United Nations General Assembly in New York (USA) on 9 December.

The IOC President welcomed the members of the IOC Ethics Commission, chaired by Ban Ki-moon, who held their meeting at Olympic House.

other olympic news


Former IOC Member and double Olympic champion Yang Yang (photo) has been elected Vice-President of the World Anti-Doping Agency by the WADA Foundation Board during its meeting in Katowice on 7 November (see also under ‘Recognised Organisations’).

Sega / Nintendo

The IOC is launching Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 as part of its global licensing programme. The game has been developed by SEGA in association with the IOC’s exclusive interactive entertainment software licensee, International Sports Multimedia (ISM). Full news release here.

international federations

summer ifs

The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) has officially unveiled the names of the four teams (men’s and women’s) that have qualified directly for the 3x3 basketball tournament at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, as well as the 20 teams (men’s and women’s) that have made it to the Olympic qualifying tournament. The announcement was made on 1 November in Utsunomiya (Japan) on the eve of the FIBA 3x3 World Tour final, at an event attended by FIBA President Hamane Niang and FIBA Secretary General Andreas Zagklis. 3x3 basketball will make its Olympic debut in Tokyo from 25 to 29 July. The full list of teams can be found here.

The International Association Football Federation (FIFA) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on 2 November that will see the two organisations join forces to leverage football as a catalyst for social development and healthy lifestyles in the region. The agreement was signed by FIFA President Gianni Infantino and ASEAN Secretary General Dato' Lim Jock Hoi during a special ceremony held on the occasion of the organisation’s summit in Bangkok (Thailand). The MoU covers a broad range of collaboration areas with a strong focus on education, in particular through the implementation of FIFA’s Football for Schools Programme to foster life skills and physical education through football for boys and girls in schools across the Southeast Asian region. Full details here.

The International Hockey Federation (FIH) has announced that the final six places for the men’s and women’s tournaments at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 were filled at the various Olympic qualification tournaments held in late October/early November. The list of the teams that have qualified for Tokyo 2020 can be found here.

The International Swimming Federation (FINA) recently recently announced the competition calendar for the 2020 edition of its Swimming World Cup, which will comprise six meets from September to November. The first cluster will be contested a few weeks after the conclusion of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, with Singapore hosting the first meet from 4 to 6 September, and Jinan (People’s Republic of China) staging the second from 10 to 12 September. The subsequent meets will take place in Kazan (Russian Federation) from 2 to 4 October, Doha (Qatar) from 8 to 10 October, and Berlin (Germany) from 23 to 25 October, before the final leg in Budapest (Hungary) from 30 October to 1 November. More info on www.fina.org.

Meeting in Bermuda in early November, the Council of World Sailing took a number of decisions regarding events such as kiteboarding and windsurfing for the Olympic Games Paris 2024. More details here. In addition, ahead of its Annual Conference, the IF published a revised proposal to reform its governance, entitled “Refreshing the Foundations for Our Future”. More info on www.sailing.org.

national olympic committees

Belgian NOC
On 7 November at the Château de Laeken, King Philippe and Queen Mathilde received the top Belgian athletes who distinguished themselves by their performances during the period 2018-2019. In total, more than 40 Olympic and Paralympic athletes were present, together with the President of the Belgian NOC and IOC Member, Pierre-Olivier Beckers. More info on www.teambelgium.be.

Brazilian NOC
At The Olympic Museum in Lausanne on 31 October, the Brazilian 4x100m relay team from the Olympic Games Beijing 2008 received their Olympic bronze medals. The medals were reallocated to Bruno Lins, José Carlos Moreira (Codó), Sandro Viana and Vicente Lenílson (see photo) following the Jamaican team’s disqualification after Nesta Carter failed an anti-doping test. The team were presented with their medals by IOC Member Bernard Rajzman, an icon of the “Silver Generation” Brazilian volleyball team from the Olympic Games Los Angeles 1984, at a ceremony attended by around 100 guests. The Brazilian NOC was represented by its Director General, Olympic champion Rogério Sampaio. Full info here.

NOC of El Salvador
The NOC of El Salvador, with the support of the College Cup, will organise the country’s first School Olympic Games from 20 to 28 March 2020. Around 2,000 state- and private-school pupils are expected to take part in the event, the programme of which will feature basketball, badminton, football, volleyball, swimming, athletics, gymnastics, tennis, squash, taekwondo, archery and rowing. The aim of the event is to promote the Olympic experience among educational institutions, share the Olympic values on the field of play and create a platform to help national federations and organisations spot future sporting talent. More info here.

Jamaican NOC
Jamaica’s double Olympic champion Veronica Campbell-Brown (second left in photo) now has a statue in her honour. The statue celebrates her remarkable achievements and the legacy that she has left for future athletes. It was unveiled at the National Stadium in Kingston during a ceremony attended by Jamaican NOC President Christopher Samuda (second right in photo) and NOC Secretary General Ryan Foster (left). During her career, Campbell-Brown won eight Olympic medals, including two consecutive golds in the 200m (Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008). She also amassed 11 World Championship medals, earning gold in the 100m at Osaka 2007 and in the 200m at Daegu 2011. More info here

NOC of Lithuania
A new initiative by the NOC of Lithuania was presented for the first time at the “LTeam Conference” last month. Lithuanian athletes will be able to get legal assistance to defend themselves against sexual harassment, abuse and discrimination. All the services for them will be free, and total confidentiality will be ensured. Additionally, athletes will have representatives to defend their rights and interests in all pre-trial investigations, as well as in all judicial and non-judicial institutions. These legal services cover everything from consultations to help collecting evidence. This also includes the preparation of claims for damages, the preparation of complaints to the office of the equal opportunities inspector, the preparation of statements of initiation of pre-trial investigation and representation in courts and law enforcement agencies. More info on www.ltok.lt.

Venezuelan NOC
The assembly of the member federations of the Venezuelan NOC unanimously approved the revision of 12 articles and the inclusion of four others in the NOC’s statutes. These amendments were proposed by the NOC Executive Council, chaired by Eduardo Álvarez, who also presented the 14 events that will form the next Olympic cycle. More details here.

youth olympic games organising committees

Lausanne 2020

IOC / Christophe Moratal
Some 850 volunteers gathered on 1 November, armed with tools, in the newly inaugurated Youth Olympic Village, the “Vortex”, to help furnish the 952 rooms that will house 1,700 athletes during the Winter Youth Olympic Games Lausanne 2020. The volunteers included IOC staff, IOC Coordination Commission Chair Danka Bartekova (right in photo), the Lausanne 2020 team, led by President Virginie Faivre (left), and local partners and stakeholders. Full details here.

recognised organisations

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)’s Fifth World Conference on Doping in Sport took place in Katowice from 5 to 7 November. Organised with the support of the Polish Ministry of Sport and Tourism, the Conference brought together over 1,500 representatives from the sports movement, public authorities and anti-doping organisations, along with athletes, other anti-doping experts and members of the media. The Conference concluded with WADA’s Foundation Board approving the World Anti-Doping Code and the Executive Committee approving the International Standards. All these documents will come into force on 1 January 2021. Following these approvals, a “Katowice Declaration” called upon “all stakeholders in the fight against doping in sport, including the sports movement, governments, anti-doping organisations and athletes to reinforce their efforts to strengthen their cooperation in every possible way; to present a unified front to strive to eradicate doping in sport; to increase resources dedicated to protecting clean sport; and to bring all perpetrators to account, without limitation”. The Board elected former elite runner and Poland’s Minister for Sport and Tourism, Witold Bańka (right in photo), as the next WADA President, and double Olympic gold medallist in short-track speed skating Yang Yang as Vice-President. They will officially take office on 1 January 2020. The Conference also recognised the contributions of the outgoing WADA President, Craig Reedie (centre in photo), who will step down at the end of 2019. Full details here.

This month, WADA will launch “Athlete Central”, a new app that will facilitate athlete compliance with Whereabouts rules under the global anti-doping programme. Athlete Central will replace WADA’s current app, which has been operational for a few years and needed modernising. More details here.

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