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  • On the Scene -- Federations Push for New Revenue-Sharing Formula


    FIBA's Bob Elphinston is among the federation leaders that wants what he calls a better balance in NOC funding. (ATR)
    Summer Feds Urge Cut in USOC Funding Tranche

    Summer Olympic sports federations will press the IOC to speed up negotiations with the U.S. Olympic Committee over Olympic sponsorship and TV rights revenues in meetings at SportAccord this week.

    It's the biggest issue on the agenda for the 28 member federations of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations at its general assembly Tuesday. The ASOIF Council led by Denis Oswald discussed the matter Monday.

    Leaders from more than 100 international sports federations, including the 35 in the summer and winter Olympics, are gathering in Athens for the international sports convention, which runs until June 6.

    “We are concerned. We believe the time is right to achieve a better balance,” Bob Elphinston, president of the International Basketball Federation, tells Around the Rings in Athens.

    “The principles established many years ago have changed and we believe the distribution should reflect that. I'm sure it will be a good discussion.”

    ASOIF has pressed the IOC for a less-favorable deal for the U.S. for a number of years. The USOC currently receives over $300 million, which is more than the combined total received by the other 204 NOCs in the world.

    Andrew Ryan, director of ASOIF, expects it to be one of the main issues raised in the association's joint meeting with the IOC Executive Board Wednesday.

    The general assembly will also hear reports from the IOC and WADA.

    Yang Sh'uan, sports director and vice-president of BOCOG, along with London 2012 chief executive Paul Deighton and sports director Debbie Jevans are updating members on their Games preparations.

    The inaugural 2010 Youth Olympic Games in Singapore is set to stir some debate.

    Questions about the quotas of athletes allowed for different sports and disciplines and the qualification systems to get them to the YOG are among unresolved issues.

    The IOC's Olympic Games executive director Gilbert Felli will report to ASOIF. He may be joined by a representative from the Singapore YOG organizing committee.

    Final preparations for the Beijing Olympics will also prompt some discussion, although federations are mostly happy with the smooth run-in to the Games.

    ASOIF celebrates its 25th anniversary at SportAccord with a dinner Monday evening for the presidents and general secretaries of its 28 federations.

    Working for IOC Recognition

    One of the challenges facing the General Association of International Sports Federations is seeking IOC recognition for 22 of its members.

    GAISF Director General Christine Dominguez. (ATR)
    GAISF president Hein Verbruggen led discussions on the topic at the association's council meeting Monday in Athens.

    Christine Dominguez, director general of the association, tells ATR that GAISF is working to improve the statutes and governance of the 22 federations to meet IOC requirements for recognition.

    GAISF's general assembly will be updated Friday.

    Reports on the bidding process for the inaugural GAISF-backed Martial Arts Games, involving 13 IFs, will also be given.

    Several cities in China along with Bangkok, Macau and Budapest have expressed an interest in hosting the first edition of the event in autumn 2010.

    The host city will be chosen after SportAccord and before the next council meeting of GAISF in October.

    Verbruggen tells ATR that the concept of a multisports video platform was also discussed at the GAISF Council.

    Members of the association will hear more about the project at the general assembly. The aim is to increase the online exposure of smaller and medium-sized federations.

    Also up for discussion at the meeting are issues of compliance with the World Anti-Doping Agency's revised code, which come into force on January 1, 2009.

    At the end of November, WADA will conduct a compliance check on all stakeholders. Some of the under-resourced smaller federations could struggle to meet WADA's requirements.

    Dominguez says that proposals for a working group to guide federations through the compliance process will go before the assembly.

    Softball Boost

    Softball is lining up more allies for its 2016 pitch. (Getty Images)
    BackSoftball, the campaign for the reinstatement of softball onto the Olympic program for 2016, received a timely boost with the news that Prince Feisal, president of the Jordan Olympic Committee, has joined the BackSoftball Strategic Task Force.

    Feisal attended his first taskforce meeting in Athens Sunday.

    Don Porter, president of International Softball Federation, tells ATR that the campaign is heading in the right direction. He held meetings with the IOC Monday. A progress report on BackSoftball's campaign is also in circulation at SportAccord.

    With reporting from Mark Bisson .

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