IOC chief Thomas Bach wants change after a scandal-filled year across the sports world. He hopes his “Olympic Movement” can provide “new answers to new questions.”
In his annual New Year’s message, the president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Thomas Bach, put pressure on sports federations to clean up their act.
“When Olympic Agenda 2020 was adopted one year ago, my message to everyone in the Olympic Movement was: change or be changed,” said Bach in his message that the IOC released Wednesday. “One just needs to look at the events over the last 12 months to realize that this message is even more urgent today to safeguard the credibility of sports organizations and to protect clean athletes.”
2015 saw the slow decay of FIFA, football’s governing organization, which included the demise of Sepp Blatter. The longtime FIFA president, as well as UEFA president Michel Platini, received eight year bans after a suspect transaction between the two.
The IAAF had their hands full as well, the world athletics body having to provisionally suspend Russian athletes from competition after the World Anti-Doping Agnecy released an independent report detailing doping violations. To make matters worse, former IAAF president Lamine Diack was arrested in France and charged with doping corruption charges.
“Undoubtedly, recent developments in some sports cast a shadow across the whole world of sport,” Bach said. “As the role and relevance of sport in society continues to grow, so do the expectations of the public vis-à-vis the integrity of athletes and sports organisations. It is our shared responsibility in the Olympic Movement to provide new answers to new questions.”
dv / (AP, dpa)