Moving forward on IOC President Thomas Bach's reform process,
Olympic leaders backed his proposals Saturday for setting up an Olympic
television channel, reshaping the bid city procedure, and adding more
flexibility to the sports program.
Bach convened a summit of 16
key IOC and sports officials in Lausanne, Switzerland, to press ahead
with Olympic Agenda 2020, his strategic blueprint for the future.
leaders supported the platform of changes that Bach will put to a vote
at a special International Olympic Committee session in Monaco from Dec.
8-9. Bach, who was elected as Jacques Rogge's successor in September,
has moved swiftly to enact his own policies in his first year in office.
of an Olympic TV channel that would promote Olympic sports in the years
between the games and help connect with younger people is one of Bach's
The officials at Saturday's meeting backed the
idea, "recognizing the potential to greatly increase the presence of
sports and the promotion of the Olympic values year round and
worldwide," the IOC said in a statement.
"The IOC will contact all the relevant stakeholders in the coming months to further develop the concept," it said.
of the project have yet to be announced, although the IOC has said it
would act as a "curator or moderator" to develop digital content, using
the National Geographic Channel as a model. Sports federations, national
Olympic committees, broadcasters, and sponsors would be asked to take
The summit also produced agreement on a new procedure for
cities bidding to host the Olympics. This has become a main priority in
light of the reluctance of potential host cities to come forward, scared
off by the $51 billion price tag associated with the Winter Olympics in
The IOC said the new process would give "more flexibility"
to bid cities, allowing them to focus from the start on the long-term
benefits the games can bring to the area and how the Olympics could fit
into their development plans. The IOC and sports federations should also
be "flexible and open to reasonable adaptation" to the bid concept.
changes would go into effect for the bidding for the 2024 Summer Games.
Potential bids could come from cities in the United States, France,
Italy, Turkey, Qatar, and South Africa.
The IOC is determined to
make changes in the wake of the troubled race for the 2022 Winter Games.
Cities in Switzerland and Germany abandoned plans to bid after voters
said "no" in referendums, and three cities have pulled out. Three
contenders remain — Almaty, Kazakhstan; Beijing; and Oslo. The future of
the Norwegian bid is uncertain amid political and public opposition.
officials also backed a more flexible approach on the Olympic sports
program, focusing on "an event-based rather than a sport-based
approach." That would allow for more changes in disciplines and events
within the sports, keeping to the current limit of 10,500 athletes.
leaders also reviewed the $20 million fund set up by the IOC to combat
doping and match-fixing — $10 million for each. The World-Anti-Doping
Agency is seeking to convince governments to match the $10 million
figure for drug-testing research.
The summit agreed on creation of
an online database to coordinate the busy global sports calendar and
discussed setting up an "intelligence system" to monitor good governance
in the Olympic movement.
There was no mention of reinstating
member visits to bid cities or raising the current age limit of 70 for
IOC members — two ideas which appear to have been ruled out.
Formal proposals will be drawn up by the IOC executive board in October before being put to the full membership in Monaco.