|The hazy skies of Beijing outside the hotel for the chefs de mission meeting. (ATR)
(ATR) IOC President Jacques Rogge tells leaders of the delegations coming to the Beijing Olympics that they bear responsibility for preventing doping scandals. Speaking to the opening session of the chefs de mission meeting in Beijing he also said air quality is an issue for the Games.
“It’s a concern, it’s a concern, but the Chinese are working hard for traffic reduction, with almost half of the cars out of circulation. They are relocating heavy polluting industry, they are planting millions of trees,” Rogge told Around the Rings following his address Tuesday morning in Beijing.
“They are telling us that this will make a drastic change by next year, so we have hope,” he says about prospects for clear skies next year.
In his comments to the chefs de mission, Rogge said “there is no denying that air quality, especially for sports competition is a challenge for our hosts and our athletes.
“However, we should remember that this is not the first time that Games have had to deal with challenges in this field,” he said, noting that air quality concerns in Los Angeles, Seoul and Atlanta were “successfully addressed at Games time”.
Not all are worried about the situation. Victor Sanchez, secretary general of the Spanish Olympic Committee says while the air is hazy in Beijing this week, such was not the case ago a month ago when he last visited the Olympic city.
|IOC President Jacques Rogge in Beijing. (ATR)
the wake of the scandal involving members of the Austrian team at the Turin Olympics, the IOC President told the team leaders they have a responsibility to know what their athletes are up to.
“Recent experiences in past Games leads me to ask you to be very vigilant,” said Rogge, especially for athletes who do not live in the Olympic Village.
“Athletes rarely dope alone and you have the ultimate responsibility for the entire
|More than 500 delegates are attending the chefs de mission meeting this week. (ATR)
behavior of your team,” he said.
Raids conducted by Italian police at the Turin Olympics uncovered substantial evidence of blood doping in private residences used by Austrian team members. Six athletes have been banned for life and the Austrian Olympic Committee was hit with a $1 million fine by the IOC.
Rogge reminded the chefs that drug testing for Beijing will include 4,500 athletes, a 90 percent increase over Sydney.
Biggest-Ever Chefs Meeting
With 205 national Olympic committees recognized for the Beijing Olympics, the chefs meeting in Beijing this week is the largest ever for a Summer Games.
Whether all 205 are attending isn’t certain; BOCOG officials could only confirm that more than 200 countries are attending.
The three-day meeting includes a series of briefings as well as tours of the Olympic Village and venues.
“I think it is very important for all the NOCs to learn in more detail about the preparation and the services the organizing committee is offering. It’s very important,” Zhengliang He, senior IOC member in China, told Around the Rings.
Sanchez of the Spanish Olympic Committee says he doesn’t have any major issues to cover with the Chinese hosts, but sees the meeting as a way to exchange information and get to know better the people from BOCOG he will be dealing with in the final year to the Games.
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