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Volume 10 No. 22


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).

The Heritage Lottery Fund announced Silverstone, the regular home of the British Grand Prix, is to get £9.1M ($14M) of lottery money "to help create a Formula 1 heritage centre," according to Mark Brown of the London GUARDIAN. The scheme at the Northamptonshire track "is one of six major projects to be given first round support" worth a total of £68M ($104M). The full money "will only be given once more detailed applications are made and are accepted and the HLF has agreed development funding for all six to do that." The money for Silverstone represents nearly half the estimated £20M ($30M) "that the project is likely to cost." The plans include creating exhibition space, a 200-seat cinema, "which will give people the feeling of being behind the wheel at Silverstone," and a new building for the archive of the British Racing Drivers' Club, to which the public will have access. The scheme "is backed my many motorsport luminaries including Sir Jackie Stewart," who won the British grand prix there in '69 and '71. He welcomed what is a first step in ensuring "the heritage of the site and that of British motorsport can reach a far wider audience than before and cements its importance for future generations " (GUARDIAN, 5/8).