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  • Rio 2016 Troubles, Doping Issues Top IOC Agenda


    (ATR) With five months until the Rio Games, Brazil’s trouble-plagued preparations will dominate discussions at this week’s IOC Executive Board.

    As Rio organizers slash costs across the Olympic project against the backdrop of Brazil’s economic slump, the IOC will demand assurances from 2016 officials about the impact on federations, NOCs, athletes and spectators.

    Venue construction delays at the velodrome and aquatics center, combined with ongoing concerns about the sewage-infested waters at the sailing venue Guanabara Bay, slow ticket sales and the spread of the Zika virus are among the IOC’s top concerns.

    Rio 2016 president Carlos Nuzman is scheduled to update the IOC on Wednesday. Nawal El Moutawakel, the IOC’s watchdog chief for Rio 2016, will also spell out the list of items requiring close attention in her report.

    Organizers of the next three Olympics in PyeongChang, Tokyo and Beijing also update the IOC board tomorrow.
    On Tuesday, the summer and winter federations’ bodies reported to the IOC’s rule-making body. WADA president Craig Reedie updated his colleagues on the progress of Russia’s efforts to achieve compliance with the anti-doping code as it bids to regain its IAAF membership.

    The IAAF Council could make a decision on whether to readmit Russia at its meeting in Monaco next week. Russia was suspended in November following revelations of state-sponsored doping in the report of WADA Independent Commission chair Richard Pound.

    Kenya’s doping crisis along with fresh problems for Ethiopia are also set to be discussed.

    Reedie said Tuesday that Kenya has set aside funding and legislation for an anti-doping agency but must deliver by April 5 or could be declared non-compliant, according to Reuters. If it is, its track and field athletes may have to sit out the Rio Olympics. Around 40 Kenyan athletes have been banned for doping offenses in the past three years.

    The IOC will also be closely monitoring developments in Ethiopia after the country’s anti-doping agency told the Associated Press on Monday that nine of its runners, including five top athletes, are under investigation for doping.
    President Thomas Bach holds a press conference Thursday to wrap up the IOC meeting.

    The EB meeting is taking place at the Palace Hotel for the first time since the committee’s headquarters in Vidy closed in December to make way for the four-year build of the $160 million Olympic House. IOC staff are now working at temporary office space in the Lausanne suburb of Pully, about 5km east along Lake Geneva.

    Reported by Mark Bisson

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