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SBD Global/September 11, 2013/Olympics

Thomas Bach Ready For 'Big Challenges' In Taking Over For Jacques Rogge As IOC Boss

Less than an hour after being named the new IOC president, THOMAS BACH fielded a series of questions from English-language media. Bach provided his first official comments to the press as president and he touched on everything from Russia's anti-gay laws to challenges in organizing the Rio Games.

Q: Is it very important with the Sochi Games coming up to lay out a clear policy for how Rule 50 will be enforced?
Bach: Today we cannot enter into discussion about all the details. We will follow our values and the Olympic Charter to make sure that the Olympic Games and the participants in the Olympic Games can compete without any discrimination. We have the assurances from the highest authorities in Russia. We trust these assurances. The policy of the IOC in more detail will be worked out and communicated with the National Olympic Committees, with the athletes and, of course, with the media.

Q: Another important moment you have is Rio. How are you going to solve the challenges there?
Bach: We have many big challenges in a world changing faster than ever. In Rio we are expecting excellent Games in 2016. We have to work very closely with the organizing committee and the political authorities and communicate well what the benefits of the Olympics are in Rio de Janiero for the population there, to make it clear with the Olympic Village there will be new, affordable housing. There will be better infrastructure.

Q:There were a number of proposals out there about changing the sport program before Tokyo. Do you want to just dive right in?
Bach: This is one of the issues I think we should deal with pretty quickly. To see whether it will or can affect Tokyo, I don't know yet. You can see here, it's a rather complicated procedure, but the composition of the program will be one of the first priorities with the executive board.
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