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Doping and illegal betting remain IOC priority

July 24, 2012
LONDON:  Olympic chief Jacques Rogge vowed no let up in the war on illegal betting and doping on Tuesday as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) began its three-day session ahead of the London Games.

The 70-year-old IOC president – who is due to step down in September next year after a 12 year tenure – said the battles against the twin threats should also come with good and responsbile governance of all sports.

“The fight against doping and illegal gambling remain the absolute priorities for the IOC,” said Rogge.

“In the battle against doping we will increase tests before and after Games with targeted testing and get NOCs (National Olympic Committees) to increase tests during the Games and we will also test samples that have been taken at previous Games.

“In terms of irregular betting and match-fixing we will rely on in depth monitoring and communicate with bodies such as the Gambling Commission based here in Great Britain, Interpol and NOC’s among others.

“We are fighting against threats that sport face but also good governance of sport is crucial. Sports organisations should have rigorous internal and external audits.”

Rogge, who replaced the late long-serving president Juan Antonio Samaranch when he stepped down in 2001, said he was especially pleased that progress had been made in the IOC’s mission to increase women’s participation.

“With the Olympic Programme the IOC has increased the amount of women competing and the number of sports, boxing and an increased cycling programme for women are to feature in London,” said Rogge, who also lobbied successfully to persuade Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Brunei to field female athletes for the first time here.

Rogge, a former Olympic yachtsman, said that the finances of the IOC were in rude health with the sale of broadcasting rights serving as a good example of this as they had defied the pessimistic forecasts.

“The TV rights in 2002-2004 were 2.2billion dollars, 2010-2012 was 3.9 billion dollars and we hope to exceed for the 2014-2016 period a total of 4 billion dollars,” he said.

“The TV rights market is a solid one and we are not suffering in drop of revenue despite some forecasts.”

However, Rogge said despite the good financial status of the IOC that should not mean allowing costs to spiral out of control.

“Even if our financial situation is solid we must still remain realistic,” he said. “The IOC must control costs and complexity of the Games.”

-AFP

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