New IOC President Holds Closed-Door Summit On Doping, Bidding Process, World Cup
IOC President Thomas Bach "convened a summit of sports leaders Sunday to review the fight against doping, match-fixing and illegal betting," according to Stephen Wilson of the AP. The meeting, attended by senior IOC officials and heads of key int’l sports federations and national Olympic committees, was "called without public notice and held behind closed doors" at IOC HQs in Lausanne, Switzerland. The summit "underlined how quickly Bach is moving to take charge since being elected as Jacques Rogge's successor." Sunday's meeting also "dealt with the issue of the crowded international sports calendar," including the ’22 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. An IOC statement did not specifically mention the '22 World Cup, "but the message was clear." The IOC "has warned FIFA against moving the tournament to January/February because that would impact the Winter Olympics." FIFA President Sepp Blatter, "an IOC member, attended Sunday's meeting." Meanwhile, Bach, who has "been busy consolidating his power," also "presented his ideas for changing the Olympic bidding process" (AP, 11/3). The AP’s Graham Dunbar noted Int’l Olympic Winter Sports Federations President Rene Fasel "sees a threat in FIFA choosing November for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar." Fasel said that a November World Cup would "clash with events for all seven of his members." Senior officials from the seven Winter Olympics federations are "meeting this week, and will discuss the International Ski Federation’s proposal for a united stand against FIFA moving the World Cup into the traditional winter sports season." Fasel: "We should really clearly show our position and protect our own interests" (AP, 11/4).
SOCHI UNCERTAINTY: The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Anne Jolis notes Russia President Vladimir Putin is "still waiting for contractors to finish the main stadium and other key infrastructure" for the '14 Sochi Games, "after six years and the most extreme cost overruns in Olympic history." The Black Sea resort "remains an Olympic-size hard-hat zone." Along with 30 new venues "directly related to the Games and scores more hotels, transport hubs and medical facilities, the city of fewer than 400,000 people also needed about 900 miles of utility networks and communication lines." To pull it off "while avoiding blackouts, the city is more than doubling its grid capacity." The main stadium is "still draped in scaffolding." Russian state-owned architecture firm Olympstroy "did not address emailed follow-up questions about the latest cost estimates for its venues" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 11/5).