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31 December 2004, 08:33 am
Interview With Jacques Rogge
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IOC News

Courtesy of the International Olympic Committee, there follows an interview with IOC President, Jacques ROGGE.

What are your thoughts on the Athens 2004 Games?
The Games in Athens were an outstanding success, and I thank the whole Olympic family and our Greek friends for this. The Games transformed Athens, and will leave Greece with a remarkable sporting and urban legacy.

Coming after Sydney and Salt Lake City, these third perfectly-staged Games of the new millennium, skilfully coordinated by the Coordination Commission, have strengthened the IOC and the Olympic Movement.

Were the Paralympic Games in Athens a success?
Yes, I wish to congratulate our IPC partners for the tremendous success of the Paralympic Games.

What does the heightened interest in future Games mean?
The candidatures of the five prestigious cities from which we shall choose the host city for 2012 demonstrate the importance and esteem the Games enjoy in terms of public opinion. This success reflects not only the prestige of the Games, but also the IOC's policy aimed at perfecting their organisation, controlling their size and complexity and leaving an excellent sporting and urban legacy. Several candidates are already preparing for 2014 and 2016.

So the Olympic Movement is healthy?
Yes, the Movement is in very robust health. It enjoys the confidence of the political world, as well as the worlds of finance and broadcasting. The IOC enjoys very high quality Games, numerous candidatures, considerable financial resources and great unity with its IF, NOC, athlete and OCOG partners.

The IOC and the EU have had close collaboration. Was it fruitful?
Yes, at the instigation of the Olympic Movement, the European Union included an article on sport in the new European treaties.

Does the IOC work with other international bodies?
Our relations with the United Nations and its various specialised agencies, plus the World Bank and the Red Cross and Red Crescent, led to various joint actions in 2004.

What is the status of the IOC's financial resources?
Our financial resources are healthy. The goal set at the end of 2001, namely to double the IOC's financial reserves to allow our organisation to function for four years in the absence of income from the Games, has been achieved. This is a considerable, not to say indispensable source of security for the IOC.

Have the IFs and Olympic Solidarity received an increase in allocations?
After the success of the Athens Games, the IFs received an allocation of 240 million US dollars, and Olympic Solidarity will be receiving a similar contribution for its 2005-2008 programme. These are considerable increases over the previous quadrennium. Following the successful negotiations with NBC in 2003, the IOC concluded a very favourable contract with the EBU for the European television rights totalling 614 million euros (for 2010 and 2012), an increase of more than 40% compared with the previous contract.

Is the IOC's task reserved exclusively to sports management?
The IOC's task goes far beyond simply managing the Games and sport. The whole edifice patiently constructed over 109 years is founded on the credibility of the IOC and sport, and on the defence of its values. The IOC will continue to uphold and develop the social values of Olympic Solidarity, the role of women, development, culture and education, the environment and humanitarian action. Our commissions did a remarkable job in all these areas in 2004.

What is the IOC's policy on anti-doping?
The Olympic Movement has made good progress in the fight against doping. WADA has reached its cruising speed, and enjoys the full support of the IOC, IFs and NOCs. It is now up to governments to find the means of adopting the Anti-Doping Code and adapting their legislation before the Games in Turin. The IOC proved in Athens that its zero-tolerance policy was not mere rhetoric, and indicated its intention to step up efforts still further for future Games.

What is the IOC's policy on ethics?
It is imperative that the IOC defends ethics and transparency. Unfortunately, in 2004 we had to expel one member and suspend two others. The ethical demands and standards imposed on IOC members are strict. We believe in the educational value of sport, and encourage the athletes to respect the values of fair play, honesty, respect for the rules and fraternity. So we must apply the same values to ourselves. Together, we can maintain a rigorous ethical approach.

What are some of the IOC's objectives for 2005?
As well as its traditional activities, the IOC's objectives for 2005 will see it reviewing the Olympic programme and making the exciting, but difficult choice of host city for the Games in 2012. The IOC will be focusing its full attention on the coordination of the forthcoming Games, which already look highly promising.

We shall continue the television and new media rights negotiations for 2010 and 2012. Our contacts with sponsors will intensify, in order to conclude as quickly as possible the TOP programme for 2012, which is already well advanced. The Marketing Commission and Meridian will be studying a new strategy for after 2012.

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