(ATR) Olympian and World Athletics president Sebastian Coe is on his way to becoming an IOC member. Coe is one of five new members nominated for election at the July session. The nominations were approved during a teleconference meeting of the IOC Executive Board.
Sebastian Coe's IOC seat is linked to his tenure as World Athletics president.
The IOC session will be the first to be held to be held virtually. The meeting on July 17 was originally to take place in Tokyo the following week during what would have been the eve of the 2020 Olympics, now postponed until July 2021.
Coe has been waiting in the wings for an IOC nomination ever since his election to lead the athletics federation in 2015. The biggest obstacle apparently has been Coe’s business relationship with CSM, where he is a managing director of the communications and sports marketing firm. IOC President Thomas Bach says Coe has agreed to change his role in the company to a passive status, which is expected to certified to the IOC by July 1.
Along with Coe, three women and another man have been nominated for election next month. Once aboard, the female nominees will push their membership of the IOC to 39. While not yet gender equal, the number of female IOC members will reach an all-time high with their selection.
The other nominations come from the Americas, Asia and Europe. Maria de la Caridad Colón Ruenes, born in 1958, is a former javelin champion in Cuba, gold medalist at the 1980 Games. Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, born in 1956 is a former president of Croatia. Princess Reema Bandar Al-Saud, born 1975, is the ambassador to the U.S. from the KSA.
Battushig Batbold of Mongolia is the youngest of the group, born in 1986. He is a businessman and president of the Mongolia NOC.
In other news from the executive board meeting which lasted about three hours, the IOC stand against racism was reconfirmed. In his opening remarks, Bach said the fight against racism and the IOC policy of nondiscrimination is in the organization’s DNA. He says members of the IOC Athletes Commission and other Olympians are actively involved in discussions about how best to demonstrate in favor of this cause during and outside the Olympic Games.
The urgency of dealing with the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics remains a pressing agenda item for the EB. Nearly 200 proposals are being studied to reduce the cost and complexity of the Tokyo Games. Olympic Games Executive Director Christophe Dubi says this includes for example, evaluating the amount of space needed around venues. He admitted that the IOC at times has “overproduced and under consumed”.
Social distancing the rule for IOC staff and the president for the Executive Board teleconference. (Greg Martin IOC)
Likewise for events around the Olympics but not necessarily essential to the Games. Dubi says the schedule of test events remaining for Tokyo will be reviewed for the possibility of reducing that number.
Bach says the work being done now in Tokyo to find new efficiency savings will also be applied to Paris 2024, as well as in Beijing for the 2022 Winter Olympics, now just six months apart from the rescheduled Tokyo Games. In Paris Bach said the IOC has now set a limit of 10,500 athletes for the Games. That number will include all athletes in all sports, including the four extra sports nominated for Paris 2024: breaking, surfing, sport climbing and skateboard. In Tokyo the athletes in the five additional sports included on the program are added on top of the 10,500 limit.
The IOC leader says he was shocked by the scale of revelations involving corruption at the International Weightlifting Federation documented in a report issued last week by the federation. That report by noted Canadian corruption investigator Richard McLaren described vote buying, questionable financial record-keeping and an anti-doping program rife with influence peddling and deception.
Bach says the IOC is waiting for additional information coming from confidential portions of the report that go into more detail about the involvement of IWF officials in alleged wrongdoing. Ursula Papandrea, former leader of U.S. Weightlifting, has been named interim president of the Federation. Bach says the IOC is in contact with her and following closely the results of the inquiry. He said the position of weightlifting on the Olympic program could be at stake.
In other developments involving membership of the IOC, the term of office of Chinese member Zaiqing Yu has been extended until 2025. He is due to retire in 2021. Bach says Yu is needed for his involvement in a number of IOC activities. IOC member in Uganda William Blick will be proposed for a change in his membership status to an individual from his current status as a representative of a National Olympic Committee. The change will allow Blick to remain on the IOC regardless of his tenure at the Uganda NOC.
The teleconference press briefing following the EB drew more than 200 participants.
Reported by Ed Hula.
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