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  • IOC President on Financial Turmoil, Says No Panic for IOC


    IOC President Jacques Rogge says "there is no panic" at organizing committees over the turmoil in financial markets. (ATR)
    (ATR) IOC President Jacques Rogge says financial markets are so changeable it’s not possible to predict what outcome the turmoil might have on the Olympics. Rogge spoke to ATR in Acapulco the day after world markets plunged last week.

    "You are asking me now after the turmoil of the last two days, frankly speaking I can not give you any authoritative view on the situation today. I can reassure everyone that the IOC's accounts are OK, that what we hear from the other organizing committees is that there is no panic and they can cope with the situation," he said.

    "Today I think only one question mark is the construction of Olympic Development Authority in London, where the official preparations, they are OK, but it is getting more difficult to find private contractors, that is the official information that we have," said the IOC President.

    Rogge downplayed reports that Sochi 2014, which is depending on significant private investment, will be affected by the turbulent markets. Likewise, he discounted rumblings from London mayor Boris Johnson that there might have to be a rethink on undertakings made to the IOC from the city that could now be too expensive to deliver.

    "I am saying we have received as far as today not a single official notification of any of the Organizing Committees. So we have received no information or requests from Vancouver, from London, from Sochi, the only thing that I know, is what I read through the media by the Chairman or CEO of Olympic Delivery Authority and he said literally this: 'finding private capital is more difficult but we will get there' that is exactly what he said.

    "But we have received absolutely no requests to reconsider whatsoever. And I think frankly speaking, that to discuss this start of this thing today at the moment when the markets are changing every day it is too soon to discuss."

    The IOC President says he held a meeting with now-ex
    Rogge says a new communications director won't be named for the IOC until 2009. (ATR)
    U.S. Olympic Committee chairman Peter Ueberroth last week on the negotiations taking place over a new revenue sharing contract, but revealed little about the conversation.

    "We had a good constructive discussion," he said, expressing the hope that the talks are moving ahead. Whether that's happening could be suspect. A day after Rogge's remarks, Ueberroth, in a farewell speech to the USOC attacked efforts on the part of some NOCs and federations to reduce the U.S. share of IOC revenues, more than $300 million during the past four years.

    Ueberroth stepped down as USOC chairman last weekend, replaced by Larry Probst, chairman of Electronic Arts, the video gaming company. Rogge says he looks forward to meeting Probst but that one has yet to be scheduled.

    Rogge says the search will formally start soon for a new IOC communications director, although he says he’s received half a dozen resumes so far. Current communications chief Giselle Davies leaves in December after six years in the post. Rogge says he expects to make have a replacement named by early 2009.

    Rogge spoke with ATR on the side of the Pan American Sports Organization meeting in Acapulco, his first stop in a globe-spanning journey that will take him to India and Bali in the next week. After Acapulco he goes to Puni for the Commonwealth Youth Games, followed by the Asian Beach Games and Olympic Council of Asia general assembly in Bali.

    Rogge remained mum on his intentions to seek a final four-year term as IOC president, saying that he is on course to make an announcement by the end of the month or in early November.

    Written by Ed Hula.

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