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  • FIFA Chief, Tennis President to Join IOC


    (ATR) The president of FIFA will take a seat on the IOC for the first time in more than four years.
    Gianni Infantino was re-elected in June. (FIFA)

    Gianni Infantino, who succeeded fellow Swiss Sepp Blatter as the head of world soccer's governing body in February 2016, won another term as FIFA president in June. Blatter was relieved of his IOC membership in August 2015 in the midst of the FIFA bribery and money laundering scandal.

    Infantino is proposed as a future IOC member along with Japanese NOC president Yasuhiro Yamashita and International Tennis Federation (ITF) president David Haggerty from the USA.

    David Haggerty, International Tennis Federation president (ATR)
    The three candidates were nominated by the IOC executive board, which concluded its three-day meeting on Thursday in Lausanne. The potential new members could be accepted into the IOC at next month’s session ahead of the Winter Youth Olympic Games.

    Each of the three would become members based upon a function within an IF or NOC.

    IOC president Thomas Bach said that World Athletics president Sebastian Coe was not put forth because of his position as executive chairman of the CSM sports consulting company, which is seen as a risk of potential conflict of interest to the IOC.

    Japanese NOC president Yasuhiro Yamashita (Getty Images)
    “These discussions are based on a decision by the IOC Ethics Commission since CSM is consulting a wide range of sports organizations and stakeholders of the Olympic Movement, including having contractual partnerships with the IOC itself,” Bach told media at the IOC’s new headquarters in Lausanne.

    “Seb Coe, at the end of November, said at this moment he would not be able to address this issue in compliance with the IOC Ethics Commission, but that he continues to try and resolve this issue.”

    Bach added that he is hopeful that the conflict of interest could be resolved over the next few months leaving the possibility for Coe to be put up for election to the membership at next summer’s Tokyo session.

    IOC To Follow WADA Verdict

    Bach confirms that the IOC will follow any decision taken by the WADA executive committee relating to sanctions imposed against Russia for manipulating Moscow lab data. The ExCo convenes Monday in Lausanne.

    The WADA Compliance Review Committee recommendations include banning the Russian flag and its dignitaries, but not all of its athletes, from the next two Olympic Games.

    Thomas Bach answers reporters' questions on Thursday. (ATR)
    “The IOC in the Olympic Charter has accepted the World Anti-Doping Code and if there is a decision being issued according to the World Anti-Doping Code, it is mandatory for the IOC,” said the IOC president.

    The 89-page WADA report also indicates that there are 145 athlete doping cases in question that may not be able to be analyzed due to deletions and manipulation of data at the Moscow laboratory.

    “We will have to carefully analyze the decision and the reasons for the decision, the fact finding behind this, because we could learn in different ways,” Bach said. “Maybe I don’t know how much it concerns these alleged 145 cases, but we will work closely with the WADA investigative unit and take their advice.

    “We will also study the report very carefully with regard to potentially new information which may concern cases which the IOC has been dealing with, but not succeeding at the time around and before PyeongChang.

    “We are looking forward to having this report and entering into a consultation with the WADA investigative unit.”

    Possible Joint South Korea and North Korea Winter YOG

    The IOC will enter into a dialogue with South Korea as the preferred host of the 2024 Winter Youth Olympic Games in Gangwon Province.

    Olympics could return to Korea in 2024 (ATR)
    Bach suggested that the organization of the YOG could potentially be shared by North and South Korea if the conditions are right.

    “This is an agreement between South Korea and the IOC...that the IOC would be open to allow such a joint organization if the circumstances allow,” Bach clarified. “It is too early to have consultations on this issue at the moment.”

    If South Korea hosts or co-hosts the Games – six years after staging the Olympic Winter Games – it would mark the first Winter YOG in Asia, following three editions in Europe.

    An election could be held at the IOC session on Jan. 10 in Lausanne.

    Olympic Summit Launches in Lausanne

    The fight against doping, good governance, the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, the IOC’s digital strategy and an ASOIF study on the future of sport are among topics to be discussed at the IOC’s Olympic Summit.

    Led by Bach, the two-day meeting in Lausanne this Friday and Saturday brings together IOC vice-presidents and executive board members; select NOC and IF presidents; ASOIF, AIOWF and IPC leaders and representatives from WADA and the International Testing Agency.

    IOC spokesperson Mark Adams tells Around the Rings: “The Olympic Summit involves the leading representatives of the Olympic Movement. It forms part of the ongoing dialogue and consultation on important issues and subjects of significance for the future of the Olympic Movement.”

    Reported in Lausanne by Brian Pinelli.

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