POSTED: October 7th 2011
London 2012: IOC impressed with progress for the summer Games
NIKKI WICKS / Sports Features Communications
LONDON: The International Olympic Committees (IOC) Coordination Commission has praised the progress made by the organizing committee for the London 2012 Games following its penultimate visit to the city before the Games get underway.
Speaking at a press conference in London today at the end of a three-day visit, the IOC Coordination Commission chairman Denis Oswald said he was “impressed” with the overall preparations by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG).
In it’s ninth and second to last visit to London ahead of the Games next summer, the Commission praised LOCOG for being on track to leave a great legacy to London, Great Britain and the Olympic Movement.
Throughout the conference, the Commission was also continually quizzed over yesterday’s Court of Arbitration For Sport (CAS) ruling against the IOC’s “Osaka Rule” which opened the door for any athlete that has received a doping ban six months or longer to be able to compete at the next edition of the Games.
Joining Oswald at the conference in London earlier today was IOC executive director for the Olympic Games, Gilbert Felli, LOCOG chair Seb Coe and LOCOG CEO Paul Deighton.
“This was an opportunity to review all aspects of the preparation and we’ve been able to witness very good progress by LOCOG,” said Oswald.
Adding: “LOCOG has now reached a new level of details in the preparation – especially after the tests that have been conducted in recent weeks – now there is some fine tuning which needs to be made in order to be ready for next year’s Games”.
Commenting on continued questioning from the media on the recent CAS ruling, Oswald said he was “disappointed” with the decision and was keen to emphasis the IOC’s “no-tolerance policy” regarding doping.
Yesterday’s ruling means that U.S. 400m winner LaShawn Merritt, who tested positive for a banned substance, has been given the green light to compete at the London Games. This ruling came as a blow to the IOC and especially its chief, Dr. Jacques Rogge, who has always held a strong stance against doping in sport.
“We have adopted the so-called Osaka Rule and this was a way to strengthen our fight against doping,” said Oswald.
“Therefore we are disappointed that the Court or Arbitration did not follow our reasoning. But of course we have to accept a ruling made by such a court. This is not the final word in this respect; we work with WADA and see how we can make sure that on the long term we will implement that rule.”
Commenting on the final run-in to the London Games, Coe said: “With only 42 Fridays until the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games, everyone at LOCOG is focused on putting on Games the whole country can be proud of and a part of.
The next and final visit from the IOC Coordination Commission is set to take place on 23-30 March 2012.
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