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Volume 6 No. 234
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IOC, Tokyo 2020 Organizers Exploring Cost Reductions, Coates Says

IOC VP John Coates said on Wednesday that the IOC and Tokyo 2020 organizers were "continuing to explore cost reductions" and that the next version of the budget would be "completed by the end of the year," according to Chris Gallagher of REUTERS. Coates said that the two parties were "working on finding savings in 25 areas" and "expressed confidence" that the budget, to be presented at the IOC's exec board meeting in PyeongChang in February, "would reflect those efforts." However, he warned they needed to "remain vigilant on costs." Games organizers have been "working to slash costs after a study last year warned expenses could balloon to four times the initial estimate" made during the bid process (REUTERS, 12/13).

TOUGHER TESTING: KYODO's Shintaro Kano reported the IOC will "take it upon itself" to ensure the Tokyo 2020 Olympics "will not be tainted in any way by the doping scandal" that led to Russia's ban from the PyeongChang Games, Coates said. Coates, who chairs the 2020 Coordination Commission, said that the responsibility will be on the IOC -- and not Tokyo -- to make sure the next Summer Games "will not be dragged down by the Russian scandal." He "expressed confidence in Japan's anti-doping program, hailing it as first class," but said that "stronger testing will be in the works" for '20. Coates said that he is now "largely worry-free about the city's organization," adding, "We just know there's a great big checklist of things to be done" (KYODO, 12/12).

SAFETY DRILLS: REUTERS' Choi & Hyunjoo reported South Korea conducted a "series of security drills on Tuesday to prepare against terror attacks" at the PyeongChang Games such as a hostage situation, a vehicle ramming a stadium and a bomb attached to a drone. Police and firemen were among around 420 personnel participating in the exercise held in front of the Olympic Stadium in PyeongChang, just 80km from the "heavily fortified border with North Korea" (REUTERS, 12/12).