International Olympic Committee

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International Olympic Committee
Comité International Olympique
Olympic rings without rims.svg
Formation23 June 1894;125 years ago (1894-06-23)
Type Sports federation
Headquarters Lausanne, Switzerland
105 active members, 45 honorary members, 2 honour members (Senegal and United States), 206 individual National Olympic Committees
Official language
French (reference language), English, and the host country's language when necessary
Honorary President
Flag of Belgium (civil).svg Jacques Rogge [1]
Flag of Germany.svg Thomas Bach [1]
Vice Presidents
Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg Yu Zaiqing
Flag of Spain.svg Juan Antonio Samaranch
Flag of Turkey.svg Uğur Erdener
Flag of the United States.svg Anita DeFrantz [1]
Director General
Flag of Belgium (civil).svg Christophe De Kepper
Motto: Citius, Altius, Fortius
(Latin: Faster, higher, stronger)

The International Olympic Committee (IOC; French: Comité international olympique, CIO) is a non-governmental sports organisation based in Lausanne, Switzerland. Created by Pierre de Coubertin and Demetrios Vikelas in 1894, it is the authority responsible for organising the modern Summer and Winter Olympic Games. [2]

French language Romance language

French is a Romance language of the Indo-European family. It descended from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire, as did all Romance languages. French evolved from Gallo-Romance, the spoken Latin in Gaul, and more specifically in Northern Gaul. Its closest relatives are the other langues d'oïl—languages historically spoken in northern France and in southern Belgium, which French (Francien) has largely supplanted. French was also influenced by native Celtic languages of Northern Roman Gaul like Gallia Belgica and by the (Germanic) Frankish language of the post-Roman Frankish invaders. Today, owing to France's past overseas expansion, there are numerous French-based creole languages, most notably Haitian Creole. A French-speaking person or nation may be referred to as Francophone in both English and French.

A sports governing body is a sports organization that has a regulatory or sanctioning function. Sports governing bodies come in various forms, and have a variety of regulatory functions. Examples of this can include disciplinary action for rule infractions and deciding on rule changes in the sport that they govern. Governing bodies have different scopes. They may cover a range of sport at an International level, such as the International Olympic Committee and the International Paralympic Committee, or only a single sport at a national level, such as the Rugby Football League. National bodies may or may not be affiliated to international bodies for the same sport. The first international federations were formed at the end of the 19th century.

Lausanne Capital city of the canton of Vaud, Switzerland

Lausanne is the capital city and biggest town of the canton of Vaud in Romandy, Switzerland. A municipality, it is situated on the shores of Lake Geneva. It faces the French town of Évian-les-Bains, with the Jura Mountains to its north-west. Lausanne is located 62 kilometres northeast of Geneva.

The IOC is the governing body of the National Olympic Committees (NOCs), which are the national constituents of the worldwide Olympic Movement. As of 2016, there are 206 NOCs officially recognised by the IOC. The current president of the IOC is Thomas Bach of Germany, who succeeded Jacques Rogge of Belgium in September 2013. [3]

National Olympic Committee national constituent of the worldwide Olympic movement

A National Olympic Committee (NOC) is a national constituent of the worldwide Olympic movement. Subject to the controls of the International Olympic Committee, NOCs are responsible for organizing their people's participation in the Olympic Games. They may nominate cities within their respective areas as candidates for future Olympic Games. NOCs also promote the development of athletes and training of coaches and officials at a national level within their geographies.

Thomas Bach German fencer and sports official, president of the IOC

Thomas Bach, is a German lawyer and former Olympic fencer. Bach is the ninth and current President of the International Olympic Committee, and a former member of the German Olympic Sports Confederation Executive Board.

Jacques Rogge International Olympic Committee President

Jacques Jean Marie Rogge, Count Rogge is a Belgian sports administrator and physician who served as the eighth President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) from 2001 to 2013. In 2013, the IOC announced that Rogge would become their Honorary President.


The IOC was created by Pierre de Coubertin, on 23 June 1894 with Demetrios Vikelas as its first president. As of April 2019, its membership consists of 95 active members, 44 honorary members, an honorary president (Jacques Rogge) and two honour members (Henry Kissinger and Youssoupha Ndiaye). [4] The IOC is the supreme authority of the worldwide modern Olympic Movement.

Pierre de Coubertin Founder of modern Olympic Games, pedagogue and historian

Charles Pierre de Frédy, Baron de Coubertin was a French educator and historian, founder of the International Olympic Committee, and its second President. He is known as the father of the modern Olympic Games.

Henry Kissinger 56th United States Secretary of State

Henry Alfred Kissinger is an American politician, diplomat, and geopolitical consultant who served as United States Secretary of State and National Security Advisor under the presidential administrations of Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. A Jewish refugee who fled Nazi Germany with his family in 1938, he became National Security Advisor in 1969 and U.S. Secretary of State in 1973. For his actions negotiating a ceasefire in Vietnam, Kissinger received the 1973 Nobel Peace Prize under controversial circumstances, with two members of the committee resigning in protest. Kissinger later sought, unsuccessfully, to return the prize after the ceasefire failed.

Youssoupha Ndiaye was the chairman of the International Olympic Committee (IOC)'s ethics committee from February 2007 to September 2017, and an IOC member from 2002 to 2017.

The IOC organises the modern Olympic Games and Youth Olympic Games (YOG), held in summer and winter, every four years. The first Summer Olympics was held in Athens, Greece, in 1896; the first Winter Olympics was in Chamonix, France, in 1924. The first Summer YOG were in Singapore in 2010 and the first Winter YOG in Innsbruck were in 2012.

Olympic Games Major international sport event

The modern Olympic Games or Olympics are leading international sporting events featuring summer and winter sports competitions in which thousands of athletes from around the world participate in a variety of competitions. The Olympic Games are considered the world's foremost sports competition with more than 200 nations participating. The Olympic Games are held every four years, with the Summer and Winter Games alternating by occurring every four years but two years apart.

Youth Olympic Games athletic competition for persons aged 12-18

The Youth Olympic Games (YOG) is an international multi-sport event organized by the International Olympic Committee. The games are held every four years in staggered summer and winter events consistent with the current Olympic Games format, though in reverse order with Winter Games held in leap years instead of Summer Games. The first summer version was held in Singapore from 14 to 26 August 2010 while the first winter version was held in Innsbruck, Austria from 13 to 22 January 2012. The age limitation of the athletes is 14 to 18. The idea of such an event was introduced by Johann Rosenzopf from Austria in 1998. On 6 July 2007, International Olympic Committee (IOC) members at the 119th IOC session in Guatemala City approved the creation of a youth version of the Olympic Games, with the intention of sharing the costs of hosting the event between the IOC and the host city, whereas the travelling costs of athletes and coaches were to be paid by the IOC. These Games will also feature cultural exchange programs and opportunities for participants to meet Olympic athletes.

Athens Capital and largest city of Greece

Athens is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, with its recorded history spanning over 3,400 years and its earliest human presence starting somewhere between the 11th and 7th millennium BC.

Until 1992, both Summer and Winter Olympics were held in the same year. After that year, however, the IOC shifted the Winter Olympics to the even years between Summer Games, to help space the planning of the two events from one another, and improve the financial balance of the IOC, which receives a proportionally greater income in Olympic years.

In 2009, the UN General Assembly granted the IOC Permanent Observer status. The decision enables the IOC to be directly involved in the UN Agenda and to attend UN General Assembly meetings where it can take the floor. In 1993, the General Assembly approved a Resolution to further solidify IOC–UN cooperation by reviving the Olympic Truce. [5]

Observer status is a privilege granted by some organizations to non-members to give them an ability to participate in the organization's activities. Observer status is often granted by intergovernmental organizations (IGO) to non-member parties and international nongovernmental organizations (INGO) that have an interest in the IGO's activities. Observers generally have a limited ability to participate in the IGO, lacking the ability to vote or propose resolutions.

The Olympic Truce is a tradition originating from Ancient Greece that dates back to 776 BC. A "truce" was announced before and during the Olympic Games to ensure the host city state (Elis) was not attacked and athletes and spectators could travel safely to the Games and peacefully return to their respective countries.

During each proclamation at the Olympics, announcers speak in different languages: French is always spoken first, followed by an English translation, and then the dominant language of the host nation (when this is not English or French).

The IOC received approval in November 2015 to construct a new headquarters in Vidy, Lausanne. The cost of the project was estimated to stand at $156m. [6] The IOC announced on 11 February 2019 that "Olympic House" would be inaugurated on 23 June 2019 to coincide with its 125th anniversary. [7] The Olympic Museum remains in Ouchy, Lausanne. [8]

Mission and roles

The stated mission of the IOC is to promote the Olympics throughout the world and to lead the Olympic Movement: [9]

IOC Executive Board

Honorary President Jacques Rogge Flag of Belgium (civil).svg  Belgium
President Thomas Bach Flag of Germany.svg  Germany
Vice Presidents Yu Zaiqing Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  China
Juan Antonio Samaranch, Jr. Flag of Spain.svg  Spain
Uğur Erdener Flag of Turkey.svg  Turkey
Anita DeFrantz Flag of the United States.svg  United States
Executive MembersHRH Prince Feisal Al Hussein Flag of Jordan.svg  Jordan
Nenad Lalovic Flag of Serbia.svg  Serbia
Ivo Ferriani Flag of Italy.svg  Italy
Kirsty Coventry Flag of Zimbabwe.svg  Zimbabwe
Sergey Bubka Flag of Ukraine.svg  Ukraine
Ng Ser Miang Flag of Singapore.svg  Singapore
Willi Kaltschmitt Luján Flag of Guatemala.svg  Guatemala
Robin E. Mitchell Flag of Fiji.svg  Fiji
Nicole Hoevertsz Flag of Aruba.svg  Aruba
Denis Oswald Flag of Switzerland.svg   Switzerland
Director General Christophe De Kepper Flag of Belgium (civil).svg  Belgium

IOC Commissions

IOC Athletes' Commission Kirsty Coventry Flag of Zimbabwe.svg  Zimbabwe
IOC Athletes' Entourage Commission Sergey Bubka Flag of Ukraine.svg  Ukraine
IOC Audit Committee Pierre-Olivier Beckers-Vieujant Flag of Belgium (civil).svg  Belgium
IOC Communication Commission Anant Singh [10] Flag of South Africa.svg  South Africa
IOC Coordination Commission LA 2028 Nicole Hoevertsz Flag of Aruba.svg  Aruba
IOC Coordination Commission Milan-Cortina 2026 Octavian Morariu Flag of Romania.svg  Romania
IOC Coordination Commission Paris 2024 Pierre-Olivier Beckers-Vieujant Flag of Belgium (civil).svg  Belgium
IOC Evaluation Commission 2024 Winter Youth Olympics (YOG)
IOC Coordination Commission Dakar 2022 (YOG) Kirsty Coventry Flag of Zimbabwe.svg  Zimbabwe
IOC Coordination Commission Beijing 2022 Juan Antonio Samaranch, Jr. Flag of Spain.svg  Spain
IOC Coordination Commission Tokyo 2020 John Coates Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia
IOC Coordination Commission Lausanne 2020 (YOG) Danka Barteková Flag of Slovakia.svg  Slovakia
IOC Culture and Olympic Heritage Commission Wu Ching-kuo Flag of Chinese Taipei for Olympic games.svg  Chinese Taipei
IOC Digital and Technology Commission Gerardo Werthein Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina
IOC Ethics Commission Ban Ki-moon Flag of South Korea.svg  South Korea
IOC Finance Commission Ng Ser Miang Flag of Singapore.svg  Singapore
IOC Members Election CommissionHRH Anne, Princess Royal Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  United Kingdom
IOC Legal Affairs Commission John Coates Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia
IOC Marketing Commission Jiri Kejval Flag of the Czech Republic.svg  Czech Republic
IOC Medical and Scientific Commission Uğur Erdener Flag of Turkey.svg  Turkey
IOC Olympic Channel Commission Richard Carrion Flag of Puerto Rico.svg  Puerto Rico
IOC Olympic Education Commission Mikaela Cojuangco Jaworski Flag of the Philippines.svg  Philippines
IOC Olympic Programme Commission Franco Carraro Flag of Italy.svg  Italy
IOC Olympic Solidarity Commission Robin Mitchell Flag of Fiji.svg  Fiji
IOC Commission for Public Affairs and Social Development Through Sport Luis Alberto Moreno Flag of Colombia.svg  Colombia
IOC Sport and Active Society Commission Sari Essayah Flag of Finland.svg  Finland
IOC Sustainability and Legacy CommissionHSH Albert II, Prince of Monaco Flag of Monaco.svg  Monaco
IOC Women in Sport Commission Lydia Nsekera Flag of Burundi.svg  Burundi
IOC Communications Director Mark Adams Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  United Kingdom


IOC Session

The IOC Session is the general meeting of the members of the IOC, held once a year in which each member has one vote. It is the IOC's supreme organ and its decisions are final.

Extraordinary Sessions may be convened by the President or upon the written request of at least one third of the members.

Among others, the powers of the Session are:


In addition to the Olympic medals for competitors, the IOC awards a number of other honours.

IOC members

The first IOC, at the 1896 Athens Games Albert Meyer 4 Olympia 1896.jpg
The first IOC, at the 1896 Athens Games

For most of its existence, the IOC was controlled by members who were selected by other members. Countries that had hosted the Games were allowed two members. When named, they did not become the representatives of their respective countries to the IOC, but rather the opposite, IOC members in their respective countries.

Oath of the International Olympic Committee

"Granted the honour of becoming a member of the International Olympic Committee and declaring myself aware of my responsibilities in such a capacity, I undertake to serve the Olympic Movement to the very best of my ability; to respect and ensure the respect of all the provisions of the Olympic Charter and the decisions of the International Olympic Committee which I consider as not the subject to appeal on my part; to comply with the code of ethics to keep myself free from any political or commercial influence and from any racial or religious consideration; to fight against all other forms of discrimination; and to promote in all circumstances the interests of the International Olympic Committee and those of the Olympic Movement."

Cessation of membership

The membership of IOC members ceases in the following circumstances: [16]

  1. Resignation: any IOC member may cease their membership at any time by delivering a written resignation to the President.
  2. Non re-election: any IOC member ceases to be a member without further formality if they are not re-elected.
  3. Age limit: any IOC member ceases to be a member at the end of the calendar year during which they reach the age of 70 or 80. Any member who was elected before 1999 ceases to be a member at age 80 and any member who was elected after 1999 ceases to be a member at age 70.
  4. Failure to attend Sessions or take active part in IOC work for two consecutive years.
  5. Transfer of domicile or of main center of interests to a country other than the country which was theirs at the time of their election.
  6. Members elected as active athletes cease to be a member upon ceasing to be a member of the IOC Athletes' Commission.
  7. Presidents and individuals holding an executive or senior leadership position within NOCs, world or continental associations of NOCs, IFs or associations of IFs, or other organisations recognised by the IOC cease to be a member upon ceasing to exercise the function they were exercising at the time of their election.
  8. Expulsion: an IOC member may be expelled by decision of the Session if such member has betrayed their oath or if the Session considers that such member has neglected or knowingly jeopardised the interests of the IOC or acted in a way which is unworthy of the IOC.

Sports federations recognised by IOC

There are currently 73 international sports federations (IFs) recognised by the IOC. [17] These are:

Olympic marketing

1985 German Democratic Republic stamp Stamps of Germany (DDR) 1985, MiNr Zusammendruck 2949.jpg
1985 German Democratic Republic stamp

During the first half of the 20th century the IOC ran on a small budget. [21] [22] As president of the IOC from 1952 to 1972, Avery Brundage rejected all attempts to link the Olympics with commercial interest. [23] Brundage believed the lobby of corporate interests would unduly impact the IOC's decision-making. [23] Brundage's resistance to this revenue stream meant the IOC left organising committees to negotiate their own sponsorship contracts and use the Olympic symbols. [23] When Brundage retired the IOC had US$2 million in assets; eight years later the IOC coffers had swelled to US$45 million. [23] This was primarily due to a shift in ideology toward expansion of the Games through corporate sponsorship and the sale of television rights. [23] When Juan Antonio Samaranch was elected IOC president in 1980 his desire was to make the IOC financially independent. [22] Samaranch appointed Canadian IOC member Richard Pound to lead the initiative as Chairman of the "New Sources of Finance Commission".

In 1982 the IOC drafted ISL Marketing, a Swiss sports marketing company, to develop a global marketing programme for the Olympic Movement. ISL successfully developed the programme but was replaced by Meridian Management, a company partly owned by the IOC in the early 1990s.

In 1989, one of the staff members at ISL Marketing, Michael Payne, moved to the IOC and became the organisation's first marketing director. However ISL and subsequently Meridian, continued in the established role as the IOC's sales and marketing agents until 2002. [24] [25] In 2002 the IOC terminated the relationship with Meridian and took its marketing programme in-house under the Direction of Timo Lumme, the IOC's managing director of IOC Television and Marketing Services. [24] During his 17 years with the IOC, [24] in collaboration with ISL Marketing and subsequently Meridian Management, Payne made major contributions to the creation of a multibillion-dollar sponsorship marketing programme for the organisation which, along with improvements in TV marketing and improved financial management, helped to restore the IOC's financial viability. [26] [27] [28]


The Olympic Movement generates revenue through five major programmes.

  1. Broadcast partnerships, managed by the IOC.
  2. Commercial sponsorship, organised through the IOC's worldwide TOP programme.
  3. Domestic sponsorship, managed by the OCOGs.
  4. Ticketing.
  5. Licensing programmes within the host country.

The OCOGs have responsibility for the domestic sponsorship, ticketing and licensing programmes, under the direction of the IOC.

The Olympic Movement generated a total of more than US$4 billion (€2.5 billion) in revenue during the Olympic quadrennium from 2001 to 2004.

Revenue distribution

The IOC distributes some of the Olympic marketing revenue to organisations throughout the Olympic Movement to support the staging of the Olympic Games and to promote the worldwide development of sport. The IOC retains approximately 10% of the Olympic marketing revenue for the operational and administrative costs of governing the Olympic Movement. [29]

Organising Committees for the Olympic Games

The IOC provides TOP programme contributions and Olympic broadcast revenue to the OCOGs to support the staging of the Summer Olympic Games and the Winter Olympic Games:

National Olympic Committees

The NOCs receive financial support for the training and development of Olympic teams, Olympic athletes and Olympic hopefuls. The IOC distributes TOP programme revenue to each of the NOCs throughout the world. The IOC also contributes Olympic broadcast revenue to Olympic Solidarity, an IOC organisation that provides financial support to NOCs with the greatest need.

The continued success of the TOP programme and Olympic broadcast agreements has enabled the IOC to provide increased support for the NOCs with each Olympic quadrennium. The IOC provided approximately US$318.5 million to NOCs for the 2001–2004 quadrennium.

International Olympic Sports Federations

The IOC is now the largest single revenue source for the majority of IFs, with its contributions of Olympic broadcast revenue that assist the IFs in the development of their respective sports worldwide. The IOC provides financial support from Olympic broadcast revenue to the 28 IFs of Olympic summer sports and the seven IFs of Olympic winter sports after the completion of the Summer Olympics and the Winter Olympics, respectively.

The continually increasing value of Olympic broadcast partnership has enabled the IOC to deliver substantially increased financial support to the IFs with each successive Games. The seven winter sports IFs shared US$85.8 million, €75 million in Salt Lake 2002 broadcast revenue. The contribution to the 28 summer sports IFs from Athens 2004 broadcast revenue has not yet been determined, but the contribution is expected to mark a significant increase over the US$190 million, €150 million that the IOC provided to the summer IFs following Sydney 2000.

Other organisations

The IOC contributes Olympic marketing revenue to the programmes of various recognised international sports organisations, including the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

The Olympic Partner programme

The Olympic Partner (TOP) sponsorship programme includes the following commercial sponsors of the Olympic Games.

Environmental concerns

The IOC recognizes that the Olympic Games demand substantial environmental resources, activities, and construction projects that could be detrimental to a host city's environment. [30] In 1995, IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch stated, "the International Olympic Committee is resolved to ensure that the environment becomes the third dimension of the organization of the Olympic Games, the first and second being sport and culture." [31] Acting on this statement, in 1996 the IOC added the "environment" as a third pillar to its vision for the Olympic Games. [32] The IOC requires cities bidding to host the Olympics to provide a comprehensive strategy to protect the environment in preparation for hosting, and following the conclusion of the Games. [33] This initiative was most notably acted upon in 2000, when the "Green Olympics" effort was developed by the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Beijing Olympic Games. The Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics effort to host environmentally friendly games resulted in over 160 projects meeting the goal of "green" games through improved air quality and water quality, implementation of sustainable energy sources, improved waste management, and environmental education. These projects included industrial plant relocation or closure, furnace replacement, introduction of new emission standards, and more strict traffic control. [34] Most of these measures were adopted on a temporary basis, and although real improvements were realized (particularly in air quality), most of these improvements had disappeared one year following the Games. Although these improvements were short lived, IOC's inclusion of environmental policies in evaluating and selecting host cities demonstrates a corporate responsibility that may be built upon in years to come. Detailed frameworks for environmental sustainability have been released for the 2018 Winter Olympics, and 2020 Summer Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, and Tokyo, Japan, respectively. [35] [36]

IOC approaches

The IOC has four major approaches to addressing environmental health concerns during the construction and competitions of the Olympic Games. First, the IOC Sustainability and Legacy Commission focuses on how the IOC can improve the strategies and policies associated with environmental health throughout the process of cities hosting the Olympic Games. [37] Secondly, every candidate city must provide information to the IOC on environmental health issues like air quality and environmental impact assessments. Thirdly, every host city is given the option to declare "pledges" to address specific or general environmental health concerns of hosting the Olympic Game. Fourthly, the IOC has every host city collaborate with the United Nations to work towards addressing environmental health objectives. [38] Ultimately, the IOC uses these four major approaches in an attempt to minimize the negative environmental health concerns of a host city.

Venue construction effects on air

Cities hosting the Olympic Games have two primary concerns: traffic congestion and air pollution, both of which can result in compromised air quality during and after Olympic venue construction. [39] Research at the Beijing Olympic Games identified particulate matter – measured in terms of PM10 (the amount of aerodynamic diameter of particle≤10 μm in a given amount of air) – as a top priority that should be taken into consideration. [40] [41] The particulate matter in the air, along with other airborne pollutants, cause both serious health problems, such as asthma, and contribute to the deterioration of urban ecosystems. Black Carbon is released into the air from incomplete combustion of carbonaceous fluids contributing to global climate change and human health effects. The black carbon concentrations are highly impacted by the truck traffic due to the traffic congestion during the massive construction. Additionally, secondary pollutants like CO, NOx, SO2, benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylenes (BTEX) are also released during the venue construction, resulting in harmful effects to the environment. [42]

Methods to measure particulates in the air

Environmental magnetic methods have been established as a successful way of measuring the degree of pollution in air, water and soil. Environmental magnetism is sensitive to particle size, and has proven effective even at low detection levels. For these reasons, it is becoming more widely used.

Measures taken to improve air quality

Various air quality measures are undertaken before and after the Olympic Games. Research studies demonstrate that the primary method to reduce concentrations of air pollutants is traffic control, including barring heavy vehicles from the roads. For the Beijing Olympics, vehicles not meeting the Euro 1 emission standards were also banned from the roads, and the odd-even rule was implemented in the Beijing administrative area. Additional air quality improvement measures include replacing coal with natural gas, suspending construction and/or imposing strict dust control on construction sites, closing or relocating the polluting industrial plants, building long subway lines, using cleaner fluid in power plants, and reducing the activity by some of the polluting factories. These were several air quality improvement measures implemented by the Beijing government. There, levels of primary and secondary pollutants were reduced, and good air quality was recorded during the Beijing Olympics on most of the days.

Venue construction effects on soil

Soil contamination can occur during the process of constructing the Olympic venues. In the case of the 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Torino, Italy, negative environmental impacts were observed, including impacts on soil. Before the Games, researchers studied four areas which the Games would likely affect: a floodplain, a highway, the motorway connecting the city to Lyon, France, and a landfill. They performed an extensive analysis in the types of chemicals found in the soils in these areas both before and after the Games. Their findings revealed an increase in the number of metals in the topsoils post-Games, and indicated that soil was capable, as part of an ecosystem, of negating, or "buffering," the effects of many heavy metals. However, their findings also revealed that this was not the case for all metals, and that mercury, lead, and arsenic may have been transferred into the food chain on a massive scale. [43] One of the promises made to Londoners when they won the right to host the 2012 Olympic Games was that the Olympic Park would be a "blueprint for sustainable living." However, residents of the allotments of Manor Road were relocated, due to the building of the Olympic stadium, and would later disagree that the Olympics had had any positive effect on their lives. Allotments, originally, were intended to provide low-income residents with a plot of land on which to grow their own food, thus receiving the dual health benefits of a supply of fresh food and outdoor work. Many of these sites were lost as a result of the Olympic venue construction, most notably the Manor Road site. Residents were promised that the allotments would be returned, and they eventually were. However, the soil quality would never be the same. Crops tended by allotment residents were the result of years of careful cultivation, and thus, those years of care and attention were destroyed by a bulldozer. Further, allotment residents were exposed to radioactive waste for five months prior to moving, during the excavation of the site for the Games. Other local residents, construction workers, and onsite archeologists faced similar exposures and risks. [44] In contrast, the Sydney Olympic Games of 2000 provided an opportunity to improve a highly contaminated area known as the Homebush Bay site. A study commissioned by the New South Wales Government Olympic Coordination Authority, which was responsible for the Games' site preparation, looked at soil contamination prior to the Games. The work assessed soils that had been previously impacted by waste and identified areas that could pose a risk to the environment. Soil metal concentrations were found to be high enough to potentially contaminate groundwater. After risk areas were identified, a remediation strategy was developed. Contaminated soil was consolidated into four containment areas within the site, which left the remaining areas available for recreational use. Also, the contained waste materials no longer posed a threat to surrounding aquifers. Sydney's winning Olympic bid provided a catalyst to undertake the "greenest" single urban remediation ever attempted in Australia. [45]

Venue construction effects on water

The Olympic Games can affect water quality in the surrounding region in several ways, including water runoff and the transfer of polluting substances from the air to water sources through rainfall. Harmful particulates come from both natural substances (such as plant matter crushed by higher volumes of pedestrian and vehicle traffic) and man-made substances (such as exhaust from vehicles or industry). Contaminants from these two categories lead to elevated amounts of toxins in street dust. Street dust then reaches water sources through runoff, facilitating the transfer of toxins to environments and communities that rely on these water sources. [39] For example, one method of measuring the runoff contamination of water sources involves magnetism. Magnetism measurement systems allow specialists to measure the differences in mineral magnetic parameters in samples of water, air, and vegetation. Unlike traditional methods of measuring pollutants, magnetism is relatively inexpensive, and can identify smaller particle sizes. [46] Another method used to assess the amount and effects of water pollutants is to measure the amount of PM2.5 in rainfall. Measuring PM2.5 (the amount of aerodynamic diameter of particle≤2.5 μm in a given amount of air) is a common metric for assessing air quality. Comparing PM2.5 levels between air and rainfall samples allows scientists to determine the amount of air pollution being transferred to water sources. Pollutants in rainfall quickly and directly affect pollution in groundwater sources. [47] In 2013, researchers in Beijing found a significant relationship between the amount of PM2.5 concentrations in the air and in rainfall. Studies showed that rainfall had a significant "washing" effect on PM2.5 in the air, transferring a large portion of these pollutants from the air to water sources. [48] In this way, Beijing's notorious air pollution has a direct and significant impact on rainfall, and therefore, on water resources throughout the region.


Amateurism and professionalism

Pierre de Coubertin, founder of the IOC, was influenced by the ethos of the aristocracy as exemplified in the English public schools. [49] The public schools subscribed to the belief that sport formed an important part of education and there was a prevailing concept of fairness in which practicing or training was considered cheating. [49] As class structure evolved through the 20th century, the definition of the amateur athlete as an aristocratic gentleman became outdated. [49] The advent of the state-sponsored "full-time amateur athlete" of the Eastern Bloc countries further eroded the ideology of the pure amateur, as it put the self-financed amateurs of the Western countries at a disadvantage. The Soviet Union entered teams of athletes who were all nominally students, soldiers, or working in a profession, but many of whom were in reality paid by the state to train on a full-time basis. [50] Nevertheless, the IOC held to the traditional rules regarding amateurism. [51]

Near the end of the 1960s, the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association (CAHA) felt their amateur players could no longer be competitive against the Soviet team's full-time athletes and the other constantly improving European teams. They pushed for the ability to use players from professional leagues but met opposition from the IIHF and IOC. At the IIHF Congress in 1969, the IIHF decided to allow Canada to use nine non-NHL professional hockey players [52] at the 1970 World Championships in Montreal and Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. [53] The decision was reversed in January 1970 after Brundage said that ice hockey's status as an Olympic sport would be in jeopardy if the change was made. [52] In response, Canada withdrew from international ice hockey competition and officials stated that they would not return until "open competition" was instituted. [52] [54]

Beginning in the 1970s, amateurism requirements were gradually phased out of the Olympic Charter. After the 1988 Games, the IOC decided to make all professional athletes eligible for the Olympics, subject to the approval of the IFs. [55]

1976 Winter Olympics (Denver, Colorado)

The cities of Denver, Colorado, United States; Sion, Switzerland; Tampere, Finland; and Vancouver (with the Garibaldi mountains), Canada, made bids for the 1976 Winter Olympics.

The Games were originally awarded to Denver on 12 May 1970, but a rise in costs led to Colorado voters' rejection on 7 November 1972, by a 3 to 2 margin, of a $5 million bond issue to finance the Games with public funds. [56] [57]

Denver officially withdrew on 15 November, and the IOC then offered the Games to Whistler, British Columbia, Canada, but they too declined, owing to a change of government following elections. Whistler would go on to be associated with neighbouring Vancouver's successful bid for the 2010 Games.

Salt Lake City, Utah, a 1972 Winter Olympics final candidate who would eventually host the 2002 Winter Olympics, offered itself as a potential host after the withdrawal of Denver. The IOC, still reeling from the Denver rejection, declined the offer from Salt Lake City and, on 5 February 1973, selected Innsbruck to host the 1976 Winter Olympics, the same city that had hosted the Games twelve years earlier.

2002 bid

A scandal broke on 10 December 1998, when Swiss IOC member Marc Hodler, head of the coordination committee overseeing the organisation of the 2002 Games, announced that several members of the IOC had taken gifts. Although nothing strictly illegal had been done, it was felt that the acceptance of the gifts was morally dubious. Soon four independent investigations were underway: by the IOC, the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), the SLOC, and the United States Department of Justice.

Before any of the investigations could even get under way, both Welch and Johnson resigned their posts as the head of the SLOC. Many others soon followed. The Department of Justice filed charges against the two: fifteen charges of bribery and fraud.

As a result of the investigation, ten members of the IOC were expelled and another ten were sanctioned. [58] Stricter rules were adopted for future bids, and caps were put into place as to how much IOC members could accept from bid cities. Additionally, new term and age limits were put into place for IOC membership, and fifteen former Olympic athletes were added to the committee.

From sporting and business standpoints, however, Salt Lake 2002 was one of the most successful Winter Olympiads in history; records were set in both the broadcasting and marketing programs. Over 2 billion viewers watched more than 13 billion viewer-hours. [59] The Games were also financially successful raising more money with fewer sponsors than any prior Olympic Games, which left SLOC with a surplus of $40 million. The surplus was used to create the Utah Athletic Foundation, which maintains and operates many of the remaining Olympic venues. [59]

Other controversies: 2006–2013

In 2006, a report ordered by the Nagano region's governor said the Japanese city provided millions of dollars in an "illegitimate and excessive level of hospitality" to IOC members, including $4.4 million spent on entertainment alone. [60] Earlier reports put the figure at approximately $14 million. The precise figures are unknown since Nagano, after the IOC asked that the entertainment expenditures not be made public, destroyed the financial records. [61] [62]

International groups attempted to pressure the IOC to reject Beijing's bid in protest of the state of human rights in the People's Republic of China. One Chinese dissident who expressed similar sentiments was arrested and sentenced to two years in prison for calling on the IOC to do just that at the same time that IOC inspectors were touring the city. [63] Amnesty International expressed concern in 2006 regarding the Olympic Games to be held in China in 2008, likewise expressing concerns over the human rights situation. The second principle in the Fundamental Principles of Olympism, Olympic Charter states that The goal of Olympism is to place sport at the service of the harmonious development of man, with a view to promoting a peaceful society concerned with the preservation of human dignity. [64] Amnesty International considers the policies and practices of the People's Republic as failing to meet that principle, and urged the IOC to press China to immediately enact human rights reform. [65]

In August 2008, the IOC issued DMCA take down notices on Tibetan Protest videos of the Beijing Olympics hosted on YouTube. [66] YouTube and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) both pushed back against the IOC, which then withdrew their complaint.

In 2010, the IOC was nominated for the Public Eye Awards. This award seeks to present "shame-on-you-awards to the nastiest corporate players of the year". [67]

Before the start of the 2012 Olympic Games, the IOC decided not to hold a minute of silence to honor the 11 Israeli Olympians who were killed 40 years prior in the Munich Massacre. Jacques Rogge, the then-IOC President, said it would be "inappropriate" to do so. Speaking of the decision, Israeli Olympian Shaul Ladany, who had survived the Munich Massacre, commented: "I do not understand. I do not understand, and I do not accept it". [68]

In February 2013, the IOC did not include wrestling as one of its core Olympic sports for the Summer Olympic programme for the 2020 Olympics. This decision was poorly received by the sporting and wrestling community. Wrestling was still part of the programme at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. [69] This decision was later overturned, and wrestling will be a part of the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. [70]

As planned, the alpine ski run and luge racing area of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics will be built in the core area of Beijing Songshan National Reserves. A great number of valuable species such as Lonicera oblata and Cypripedium shanxiense S. C. Chen are found here and many of them can not be conserved through ex situ conservation. Many Chinese professionals of biology and environmentalists deemed that if the Olympic venues are developed in such area, the rare species and integrated ecological environment will be catastrophically collapsed. Chinese government intended to remove such area out from the range of the natural reserves and chose some other area with few rare species as the reserves. Besides, the comments regarding the strict compliance with laws and protection of Songshan National Reserves are widely deleted or restricted in China. All these actions have been criticized by some media and the professionals of biology in China. [71]

Russian doping scandal

Media attention began growing in December 2014 when German broadcaster ARD reported on state-sponsored doping in Russia, comparing it to doping in East Germany. In November 2015, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) published a report and the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) suspended Russia indefinitely from world track and field events. The United Kingdom Anti-Doping agency later assisted WADA with testing in Russia. In June 2016, they reported that they were unable to fully carry out their work and noted intimidation by armed Federal Security Service (FSB) agents. [72] After a Russian former lab director made allegations about the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, WADA commissioned an independent investigation led by Richard McLaren. McLaren's investigation found corroborating evidence, concluding in a report published in July 2016 that the Ministry of Sport and the FSB had operated a "state-directed failsafe system" using a "disappearing positive [test] methodology" (DPM) from "at least late 2011 to August 2015". [73]

In response to these findings, WADA announced that RUSADA should be regarded as non-compliant with respect to the World Anti-Doping Code and recommended that Russia be banned from competing at the 2016 Summer Olympics. [74] The IOC rejected the recommendation, stating that a separate decision would be made for each athlete by the relevant IF and the IOC, based on the athlete's individual circumstances. [75] [76] One day prior to the opening ceremony, 270 athletes were cleared to compete under the Russian flag, while 167 were removed because of doping. [77] In contrast, the entire Kuwaiti team was banned from competing under their own flag (for a non-doping related matter). [78] [79]

The IOC's decision on 24 July 2016 was criticised by athletes [80] [81] [82] [83] [84] and writers. [85] [86] [87] [88] [89] It received support from the European Olympic Committees, which said that Russia was "a valued member". [82] Cam Cole of Canada's National Post said that the IOC had "caved, as it always does, defaulting to whatever compromise it could safely adopt without offending a superpower." [89] Expressing disappointment, a member of the IOC Athletes' Commission, Hayley Wickenheiser, wrote, "I ask myself if we were not dealing with Russia would this decision to ban a nation [have] been an easier one? I fear the answer is yes." [83] Writing for Deutsche Welle in Germany, Olivia Gerstenberger said that Bach had "flunked" his first serious test, adding, "With this decision, the credibility of the organization is shattered once more, while that of state-sponsored doping actually receives a minor boost." [90] Bild (Germany) described Bach as "Putin's poodle". [85] Paul Hayward, chief sports writer of The Daily Telegraph (UK), remarked, "The white flag of capitulation flies over the International Olympic Committee. Russia's deep political reach should have told us this would happen. [86]

Leaders of thirteen national anti-doping organisations wrote that the IOC had "violated the athletes' fundamental rights to participate in Games that meet the stringent requirements of the World Anti-Doping Code" and "[demonstrated that] it lacks the independence required to keep commercial and political interests from influencing the tough decisions necessary to protect clean sport." [91] WADA's former chief investigation, Jack Robertson, said "The anti-doping code is now just suggestions to follow or not" and that "WADA handed the IOC that excuse [not enough time before the Olympics] by sitting on the allegations for close to a year." [92] McLaren was dissatisfied with the IOC's handling of his report, saying "It was about state-sponsored doping and the mis-recording of doping results and they turned the focus into individual athletes and whether they should compete. [...] it was a complete turning upside down of what was in the report and passing over responsibility to all the different international federations." [93] [94]

In contrast to the IOC, the IPC voted unanimously to ban the entire Russian team from the 2016 Summer Paralympics, having found evidence that the DPM was also in operation at the 2014 Winter Paralympics. [95]

On 5 December 2017, the IOC announced that the Russian Olympic Committee had been suspended effective immediately from the 2018 Winter Olympics. Athletes who had no previous drug violations and a consistent history of drug testing were to be allowed to compete under the Olympic Flag as an "Olympic Athlete from Russia" (OAR). [96] Under the terms of the decree, Russian government officials were barred from the Games, and neither the country's flag nor anthem would be present. The Olympic Flag and Olympic Anthem will be used instead, [97] and on 20 December 2017 the IOC proposed an alternate logo for the uniforms. [98] IOC President Thomas Bach said that "after following due process [the IOC] has issued proportional sanctions for this systematic manipulation while protecting the clean athletes." [99] The New York Times ' Rebecca Ruiz and Tariq Panja reported the decision was "without precedent in Olympics history", [100] while Sean Ingle at The Guardian noted the IOC's view that Russian doping was an “unprecedented attack on the integrity of the Olympic Games and sport”. [101] Hugo Lowell at the i newspaper, meanwhile, reported that the IOC nonetheless stopped short of a total ban against Russia from the Games. [102]

On 1 February 2018, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) found that the IOC provided insufficient evidence for 28 athletes, and overturned their IOC sanctions. [103] For 11 other athletes, the CAS decided that there was sufficient evidence to uphold their Sochi sanctions, but reduced their lifetime bans to only the 2018 Winter Olympics. [104] The IOC said in a statement that "the result of the CAS decision does not mean that athletes from the group of 28 will be invited to the Games. Not being sanctioned does not automatically confer the privilege of an invitation” and that “this [case] may have a serious impact on the future fight against doping”. The IOC found it important to note that the CAS Secretary General "insisted that the CAS decision does not mean that these 28 athletes are innocent” and that they would consider an appeal against the court's decision. [105] [106] Later that month, the Russian Olympic Committee was reinstated by the IOC, despite numerous failed drug tests by Russian athletes in the 2018 Olympics, [107] [108] and the Russian Anti-Doping Agency was re-certified in September, despite the Russian officials not accepting the McLaren Report. [109]

The IOC was harshly criticized for their handling of the Russian doping scandal. After reinstating the Russian Olympic committee following the 2018 Winter Olympics, Jim Walden, attorney for Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov, who masterminded Russia's programme, called the move "weakness in the face of evil." [110]

Bid Controversies: Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020

On 1 March 2016, Owen Gibson of The Guardian reported that French financial prosecutors investigating corruption in world athletics had expanded their remit to include the bidding and voting processes for the Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 Olympics. [111] The story followed an earlier report in January by Gibson, who revealed that Papa Massata Diack, the son of the then-IAAF president Lamine Diack, appeared to arrange for "parcels" to be delivered to six IOC members in 2008 when Qatar was bidding for the 2016 Olympic Games, though it failed to make it beyond the shortlisting stage. Qatar denied the allegations. [112] Gibson then reported on 11 May 2016 that a €1.3m (£1m) payment from the Tokyo Olympic bid team to an account linked to Papa Diack was made during Japan's successful race to host the 2020 Games. [113] The following day, French financial prosecutors confirmed they were investigating allegations of “corruption and money laundering” of more than $2m in suspicious payments made by the Tokyo 2020 Olympic bid to a secret bank account linked to Papa Diack. [114] The string of exclusives by The Guardian prompted a response from Tsunekazu Takeda of the Tokyo 2020 bid committee on 17 May 2016, though he denied any allegations of wrongdoing, and refused to reveal details of the transfers. [115] The controversy was reignited on 11 January 2019 after it emerged Takeda had been indicted on corruption charges in France over his role in the bid process. [116]

See also

Related Research Articles

The World Anti-Doping Agency is a foundation initiated by the International Olympic Committee based in Canada to promote, coordinate and monitor the fight against drugs in sports. The agency's key activities include scientific research, education, development of anti-doping capacities, and monitoring of the World Anti-Doping Code, whose provisions are enforced by the UNESCO International Convention against Doping in Sport. The aims of the Council of Europe Anti-Doping Convention and the United States Anti-Doping Agency are also closely aligned with those of WADA.

2014 Winter Olympics 22nd edition of Winter Olympics, held in Sochi (Russia) in 2014

The 2014 Winter Olympics, officially called the XXII Olympic Winter Games and commonly known as Sochi 2014, was an international winter multi-sport event that was held from 7 to 23 February 2014 in Sochi, Krasnodar Krai, Russia, with opening rounds in certain events held on the eve of the opening ceremony, 6 February 2014.

Court of Arbitration for Sport International arbitral body for sports disputes

The Court of Arbitration for Sport is an international quasi-judicial body established to settle disputes related to sport through arbitration. Its headquarters are in Lausanne (Switzerland) and its courts are located in New York City, Sydney and Lausanne. Temporary courts are established in current Olympic host cities.

2016 Summer Olympics Games of the XXXI Olympiad, held in Rio de Janeiro in 2016

The 2016 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXXI Olympiad and commonly known as Rio 2016, was an international multi-sport event that was held from 5 to 21 August 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, with preliminary events in some sports beginning on 3 August. These were the first Olympic Games ever to be held in South America and the fourth to be held in a developing country, after the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico, the 1980 Summer Olympics in the Soviet Union, and the 2008 Summer Olympics in China.

Russia at the Olympics

Russia, also known as the Russian Federation, has competed at the modern Olympic Games on many occasions, but as different nations in its history. As the Russian Empire, the nation first competed at the 1900 Games, and returned again in 1908 and 1912. After the Russian revolution in 1917, and the subsequent establishment of the Soviet Union in 1922, it would be thirty years until Russian athletes once again competed at the Olympics, as the Soviet Union at the 1952 Summer Olympics. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, Russia competed as part of the Unified Team in 1992, and finally returned once again as Russia at the 1994 Winter Olympics.

This article is about the history of competitors at the Olympic Games using banned athletic performance-enhancing drugs.

Philip Craven President of the IPC

Sir Philip Craven is an English sports administrator and former athlete. Between 2001 and 2017 he was the second president of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).

Maxim Vylegzhanin Russian cross-country skier

Maxim Mikhailovich Vylegzhanin is a retired Russian cross country skier and a three time silver Olympic medalist at 2014 Sochi Olympics in 50 km freestyle, 4 x 10 km relay and team sprint. He was stripped of his 2014 Olympic medals by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on 9 November 2017, however on 1 February 2018, his results were restored as a result of the successful appeal.

2014 Winter Olympics medal table Wikimedia list article

The 2014 Winter Olympics, officially known as the XXII Olympic Winter Games, were a winter multi-sport event held in Sochi, Russia, from 7 to 23 February. A total of 2,873 athletes from 88 nations participated in 98 events in 7 sports across 15 different disciplines.

Russia at the 2014 Winter Olympics

Russia competed at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, from 7 to 23 February 2014 as the host nation. As host, Russia participated in all 15 sports, with a team consisting of 232 athletes. It is Russia's largest Winter Olympics team to date.

2012 Summer Olympics medal table

The 2012 Summer Olympics medal table is a list of National Olympic Committees (NOCs) ranked by the number of gold medals won during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, the capital of the United Kingdom, from 27 July to 12 August 2012. Approximately 10,800 athletes participated in 302 events in 26 sports.

Independent Olympians at the Olympic Games

Athletes have competed as Independent Olympians at the Olympic Games for various reasons, including political transition, international sanctions, suspensions of National Olympic Committees, and compassion. Independent athletes have come from the Republic of North Macedonia, East Timor, South Sudan and Curaçao following geopolitical changes in the years before the Olympics, from the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia as a result of international sanctions, from India and Kuwait due to the suspensions of their National Olympic Committees, and Russia for mass violations of anti-doping rules.

Olympic Athletes from Russia at the 2018 Winter Olympics designation for Russian competitors at the Winter Olympic Games in 2018 at Pyeongchang, South Korea

Olympic Athlete from Russia (OAR) is the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) designation of select Russian athletes permitted to participate in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. The designation was instigated following the suspension of the Russian Olympic Committee after the Olympic doping controversy. This was the first time since the Unified Team of 1992 that Russian athletes had participated under the neutral Olympic flag.

The McLaren Report is the name given to an independent report released in two parts by professor Richard McLaren into allegations and evidence of state-sponsored doping in Russia. It was commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in May 2016. In July 2016, McLaren presented Part 1 of the report, indicating systematic state-sponsored subversion of the drug testing processes by the government of Russia during and subsequent to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. In December 2016, he published the second part of the report on doping in Russia.

A number of notable controversies and concerns associated with the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, emerged which were the subject of public debate and media commentary.

The Oswald Commission was a disciplinary commission of the International Olympic Committee ("IOC"), chaired by IOC member Denis Oswald. It was responsible for investigating and ruling on doping violations by individual Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.

Doping in Russian sports has a systemic nature. Russia has had 43 Olympic medals stripped for doping violations – the most of any country, more than four times the number of the runner-up, and more than 30% of the global total.


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Further reading

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