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SBD Global/May 10, 2013/Facilities

IOC Considers Removing Havelange Name From Rio's Olympic Stadium

IOC presidential candidate Thomas Bach said on Thursday that the Joao Havelange Olympic Stadium in Rio de Janeiro "might not be named after the once-powerful former FIFA president by the time of the 2016 Games," according to Karolos Grohmann of REUTERS. Rio politicians presented a bill on Wednesday "requesting a name change after a FIFA ethics report said long-time IOC member Havelange, 97, had taken bribes." Bach said that "any stadium name needed to be in line with the IOC's ethics policy." Bach: "The IOC is in the good position to be able to build on the zero tolerance policy against doping, corruption and any kind of manipulation. I would be very happy to continue with this zero tolerance policy for the sake of the credibility of the Olympic Games, the IOC and sports in general." Bach's comments "are in stark contrast" with those of Rio Games organizers. Rio 2016 COO Leonardo Gryner had called Havelange "a historical icon in Brazilian sport," as recently as the London 2012 Olympics and said the name would stay. Gryner: "We in Rio 2016, I, have a lot of pride to be associated with Joao Havelange." Asked to say whether his position meant a name change for the stadium, Bach said, "I told you very clearly that it would be following the zero tolerance policy on ethics and I think from this you can draw your conclusions" (REUTERS, 5/9).
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