POSTED: June 17th 2009

Rogge: Olympics not ruled by money

Mark Adams, new IOC Director of Communications, and IOC President Dr. Jacques Rogge
Mark Adams, new IOC Director of Communications, and IOC President Dr. Jacques Rogge

LAURA WALDEN / Sports Features Communications

LAUSANNE: The IOC isn’t making economics its highest priority and President Dr. Jacques Rogge confirmed in a press conference that upcoming 2016 bids will be scrutinized more for athletes' conditions than financing deals.

High on the list is the care for the main players in the Olympic Games and their services both in the athlete’s village and the management of their sports events. 

Rogge said, “For me the athletes come first. The Games are for them and they have fought hard to get here. “ He emphasized the IOC's desire to leave a sporting legacy for the athletes post-Games.

The President himself was a yachting competitor in the Olympic Games in Mexico in 1968, Munich in 1972 and Montreal in 1976. And was the first President to stay in the Olympic Village.

The Olympic Movement has weathered the worldwide financial crisis as the President explained that reserves were up 5.2% since the first of the year making the IOC’s rise to $429 million. The IOC’s marketing program is looking promising with many contracts up for renewal and conclusion in the pipeline.

He reiterated that the 2016 Olympic bidding would not be ruled by economics. Chicago, Madrid, Rio de Janeiro, and Tokyo are all in the race to host the summer Games.

Clarifications were given on the voting process for the seven sports up for inclusion on the Olympic Programme and only two sports will be put forward during the upcoming executive board meeting in Berlin mid August. Still to be defined if the two will be presented to the IOC membership as two separate votes or one block vote.

Ultimately the president said that in the event that the membership rejects the sports put forward by the executive board there will be no further rounds of voting or alternatives.

Always a strong supporter of the fight against doping he stood by the WADA rule for notification of athletes’ whereabouts for out-of-competition testing.

“Whereabouts [rule] is the cornerstone in the fight against doping,” he said.

The executive board also decided to suspend the National Olympic Committee (NOC) of Kuwait, effective 1 August 2009, in order to protect the Olympic Movement in Kuwait from interference by the Kuwaiti public authorities.

Keywords · Jacques Rogge · IOC

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