SBD/December 5, 2012/Olympics

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  • IOC Suspends Indian Olympic Association; Athletes Could Lose Financial Support

    Indian athletes won't be able to compete in Olympic events if the sanctions aren't lifted

    The IOC yesterday “suspended the Indian Olympic Association for chronic violations of the international Olympic Charter, creating one of the most embarrassing episodes in Indian sports history,” according to Gardiner Harris of the N.Y. TIMES. The suspension “could cost athletes in India financial support from funds provided by the international committee.” It also means that “unless the sanctions are lifted, Indian athletes cannot compete under the country’s flag in Olympic events.” The IOC in a statement said that its exec board “decided to suspend the Indian association because of ‘its failure to comply with the Olympic Charter and its statutes, failure to inform the IOC in a timely matter, and as a protective measure against government interference in the IOA’s election process.’” Harris notes most of India’s sports leaders are “politicians who are either too old or have been in power too long to meet international leadership guidelines” (N.Y. TIMES, 12/5). The AFP reported India's sports officials "slammed the IOC's decision." IOA President-elect Abhey Singh Chautala said, "It is wrong and a one-sided decision. We will meet [today] to decide our future course of action" (AFP, 12/4). The PRESS TRUST OF INDIA noted former IOA Secretary General Randhir Singh "insisted" that the IOC is "not against the country but against the system." Singh said, "The mess that is happening today in the Olympic committee needs to be cleaned up. I think what we are heading for now with this suspension is that it gives an opportunity to clean the mess” (PRESS TRUST OF INDIA, 12/4).

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  • U.K. Government Watchdog Group Hails London Games As Good Value For Money

    The U.K. government's spending watchdog has “hailed” the $14.5B (all figures U.S.). of public money spent on the London Games “as good value, but said strong leadership is needed if promised legacy benefits are to be realized,” according to Owen Gibson of the GUARDIAN. The National Audit Office (NAO) said, "By any reasonable measure the Games were a success and the big picture is that they have delivered value for money." The NAO report hailed Olympic Creative Dir Danny Boyle's Opening Ceremony “as a great success.” The report said that the “final bill for the ceremonies, including money allocated to the separate unit formed to cover transport, catering and logistics,” was $177M. It found that the final investment in the Games involved around $1.6B of operational costs, encompassing $827M “for venue security, that were not included" in the original '07 $15B public sector spending package. The NAO highlighted the “lack of planning on venue security … as the only example of poor forward planning” (GUARDIAN, 12/5).

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