IOC President Thomas Bach stressed the solidarity of the Olympic family with Brazil, as the host nation enters the final weeks of preparations for the Olympic Games Rio 2016. Speaking at the Opening Ceremony of the SportAccord Convention in Lausanne, President Bach said that, despite the challenges of the current economic and political situation in Brazil, he remained confident that Rio de Janeiro would deliver spectacular Olympic Games.
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“Together with the great support and enthusiasm of the Brazilian people, we will ensure that these Olympic Games will send a signal of hope and joy to the world in our much troubled times,” he told an audience of leading representatives from the world of sport. “This message of hope is perhaps the most important legacy that the Olympic Games will bring to Rio de Janeiro, to Brazil and to the world.”
In his speech, President Bach also emphasised the shared responsibility that all sports organisations have in safeguarding the integrity and credibility of sport. “We all stand for the values of excellence, friendship, fair play and respect. As values-based organisations, we have the double duty to ensure that we uphold the principles of good governance in all our activities,” he stressed.
Speaking on the recent IOC commitment to make the world’s anti-doping system and the sanctioning of doped athletes independent from sports organisations, President Bach said he was convinced that such measures are in the collective interest of sport, because they strengthen the credibility of sports organisations. “An independent testing system is key to protect the clean athletes,” he said. “It will reinforce the important application of individual justice that every citizen is entitled to, for each athlete in every country, in every sport. In this way we are able to punish the cheats to the fullest extent of the rules. At the same time, we shield the clean athletes from general suspicion.”
Prior to the opening of SportAccord, the IOC President took part in the joint meetings between the IOC and the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) and between the IOC and the Association of International Olympic Winter Sports Federations (AIOWF). There was also a first-ever joint meeting with the Council of the Association of IOC Recognised International Sports Federations (ARISF). Additionally, Memorandums of Understanding were signed with the International World Games Association (IWGA) and the Alliance of Independent recognised Members of Sport (AIMS).