Guide to IOC President Thomas Bach’s reform plans
MONACO (AP) — The International Olympic Committee will vote Monday and Tuesday on President Thomas Bach’s “Olympic Agenda 2020” reform package. Here are some of the key items among the 40 recommendations:
The IOC will revise the bidding system to make it more attractive and less expensive for potential host cities. The idea is to make it less of a tender process and more of an invitation. The IOC will introduce an “assistance phase” where cities discuss their plans with the committee in advance to suit the games to their own needs.
To cut down on costs and avoid white elephants, cities will be urged to make maximum use of existing and temporary venues.
Cities will be allowed to hold events in both the Summer and Winter Games outside the host city or country, “notably for reasons of geography and sustainability.” This opens the door to joint bids by cities, neighboring countries or regions.
The host city contract will be made public and include clauses on non-discrimination and environmental and labor protection.
The IOC will apply limits of 10,500 athletes, 5,000 accredited coaches and officials and 310 medal events for the Summer Games, and 2,900 athletes, 2,000 accredited personnel and 100 medal events for the Winter Olympics.
The IOC will scrap the current limit of 28 sports in the Summer Games and move from a sports-based to an “event-based” program. The new system would allow flexibility to add new events and disciplines, especially those that resonate with younger audiences. How the sports federations will decide on which events to add or drop remains to be seen.
Host cities will be allowed to propose the inclusion of one or more events for their edition of the games.
This should clear the way for Japanese organizers to request the inclusion of baseball and softball in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Both sports, dropped after the 2008 Beijing Games, are highly popular in Japan.
The IOC plans to set up a digital channel to promote Olympic sports between the games and engage with young viewers.
Modeled in part after the National Geographic channel, the network will feature material from the IOC’s catalog of archive footage, as well as Olympic news and broadcasts of sports competitions of Olympic sports outside the games.
The channel’s initial funding will come from broadcast and sponsorship rights. The project will be run by the IOC’s Madrid-based broadcasting agency, Olympic Broadcasting Services.
Officials hope the channel could be launched next year.
The IOC will work with international federations to achieve 50 percent female participation in the Olympics and encourage mixed-gender team events.
The wording of Principle 6 of the Olympic Charter on non-discrimination will be revised to include sexual orientation. The move follows the outcry that erupted ahead of the Sochi Games over a Russian law prohibiting gay “propaganda.”
The new clause says the Olympics should be free of discrimination “of any kind, such as race, color, sex, sexual orientation, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.”
The 70-year age limit for IOC members remains in place, with allowance for one-time extension for four years for maximum five cases at a time. Members elected before the age limit was enacted in 1999 must still retire at 80. That would include FIFA President Sepp Blatter, who turns 80 in 2016.
WHAT WON’T CHANGE
The ban on member visits to bid cities, enacted after the Salt Lake City bid scandal, stays in place. So, too, does the rule that the Winter Olympics is for sports practiced on snow and ice. Some federations had proposed that sports such as indoor cycling could be moved to the Winter Games to alleviate pressure on the crowded Summer Olympics.