POSTED: October 30th 2008

Rogge to step up doping fight

Jacques Rogge: second term in mind /
Jacques Rogge: second term in mind /

Special Correspondent / Sports Features Communications

BRUSSELS: Dr Jacques Rogge will make the fight against doping a priority if, as expected, he is re-elected unopposed next October as president of the International Olympic Committee.

The Belgian orthopaedic surgeon and former Olympic yachtsman told IOC members last week in a personal letter that he would stand for the permitted second and final four-year term of office.

He had always said he would await the conclusion of the Beijing Olympic Games and Paralympics before revealing his intentions well before the end of his eight-year first term.

In Brussels today 66-year-old Rogge said: “"Had the Beijing Games been a total failure, I would not have considered running. But the games were a great success. So were the others under my watch in Salt Lake City, Athens and Turin. My motivation is to continue on the path I have followed.

“I still have a great passion and enthusiasm for sport. I am running again because I have been useful in the past and believe I can be even more useful to the IOC in the future."

Rogge, while describing the IOC’s finances as “rock solid,” expressed the hope that governments who had propped up the banking system with multi-billion rescue funds would not cut back on budgets for sport, health and education.

Testing record expected in 2012

On these issues, he added: “My top priority will be the fight against doping. I will fight against doping as hard as I have ever done and you know my resolve in this matter which is the number one priority in the world of sport. We are stepping up the fight and we will exceed 5,500 tests at the London Games of 2012."

In Beijing in August the IOC conducted 4,770 tests in the largest-ever Games testing programme, twice the number conducted in Sydney eight years ago. Nine athletes tested positive.

Rogge identified his second priority as the fight to reduce rising levels of obesity by involving more young people in sport. This complements his first-term creation of the Youth Olympic Games which will launch in Singapore in 2010.

He said: “I would like to launch an initiative with all the Olympic committees and international federations to combat the inactivity which leads to a rise in obesity.”

Rogge's next term would see him steer the Olympic movement through the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver, 2012 Summer Olympics in London and 2014 Winter Games in Sochi.

He said he was not concerned by the funding discussions concerning the London Olympic village where the apartments are to be sold afterward. He said: “That money can be offset by further private funding. If not, of course the government will get it back when the village is being sold."

Keywords · Jacques Rogge · International Olympic Committee · Olympic Games · Paralympics · doping · obesity · Youth Olympic Games · Singapore

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