IOC meets to vote on reforms

When the International Olympic Committee executive board met last December in Lausanne, the organization was thrown into turmoil by the biggest corruption scandal in its 105-year history.

When the International Olympic Committee executive board met last December in Lausanne, the organization was thrown into turmoil by the biggest corruption scandal in its 105-year history.

A year later, the IOC opens meetings Wednesday with the focus on enacting a package of scandal-driven reforms and bringing the crisis to a symbolic close.

"The crisis ends when we adopt the reforms," IOC vice president Dick Pound said in an interview. "It's all over but the shooting. We've just got to close the circle."

IOC president Juan Antonio Samaranch is urging committee members to put aside individual interests and approve the reforms for a greater cause.

"The crisis that we have experienced this year has been far more serious than we could have imagined," he said in a letter to all members, a copy of which was obtained by The Associated Press. "To begin the new millennium in the best conditions, the IOC must reform and adapt its structures.

"The whole world is watching us, and expecting resolute action from us which will show that we know how to place the common good above the preservation of particular prerogatives. While we are masters of our own organization, we cannot ignore world-wide opinion."

The 50 proposed reforms will be reviewed by the executive board during its three-day meeting before being submitted to the full IOC for approval Saturday and Sunday.

The meetings will conclude a year to the day after senior IOC executive board member Marc Hodler made allegations of systematic corruption in the host city bidding and selection process.

Hodler's allegations came shortly after the disclosure of improprieties in Salt Lake City's successful bid for the 2002 Winter Games.

Investigations showed that Salt Lake bidders showered more than dlrs 1.2 million in cash, scholarships, gifts, travel, medical care and other inducements on IOC members and their families.

The scandal prompted the expulsion of six IOC members and the resignation of four others, led to the resignations of Salt Lake's top two Olympic officials, and resulted in criminal charges against two people so far.

The IOC has taken a series of steps in a bid to repair its image and credibility. It set up an ethics commission, became more open and transparent, offered to be governed by an international anti-bribery treaty and used a special commission - with Henry Kissinger among its members - to draw up a series of wide-ranging reforms.

The reforms are intended to make the IOC younger, more modern, more democratic, more representative and less susceptible to corruption.

The proposals include:

The inclusion of 15 active athletes on an IOC that will have a maximum of 115 members. Athletes will be represented on the executive board.

An age limit of 70 (current members will still be covered by the 80 limit).

A screening and nomination process for IOC members.

Renewable, eightyear terms for members.

A term limit for IOC presidents (either one eightterm, or with the possibility of a second term of four or eight years)

National Olympic committees to be wholly responsible for Olympic bids.

Introduction of bid acceptance procedure, requiring prospective candidate cities to meet minimum standards.

Member visits to bid cities either prohibited or restricted, pending permission of executive board, to trips organized and paid for by IOC.

Top IOC officials say the crisis provided the impetus for the IOC to modernize itself.

"It has given us an opportunity to accomplish in the course of one year what would have taken decades," Pound said.

Approval of the reforms is considered a vital test by the IOC's critics in the United States.

The White House deems it "absolutely critical" for the IOC to enact the reforms, said Mickey Ibarra, an assistant to President Clinton for intergovernmental affairs.

On Dec. 15, Samaranch is to appear in Washington before the House subcommittee on oversight and investigations to explain the reforms. Congressional leaders have threatened to cut off American corporate and television support for the IOC if lasting reforms aren't adopted.

In a sign of change, Salt Lake and Sydney organizers will stay at home this week and make their progress reports to the executive board by video conference rather than travel to Lausanne as customary.

The IOC headquarters, meanwhile, will be closed to reporters during the excecutive board meeting. The decision, officially due to a shortage of space, ensures there will be no repeat of last year's scenes when Hodler made his bribery allegations in a series of impromptu news conferences in the IOC's marble lobby.

News
Pro-Russia rebels guard a train containing the bodies of victims of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH 17 crash in Torez, Ukraine
i100
Life and Style
Child's play: letting young people roam outdoors directly contradicts the current climate
lifeHow much independence should children have?
Arts and Entertainment
Tycoons' text: Warren Buffett and Bill Gates both cite John Brookes' 'Business Adventures' as their favourite book
booksFind out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Property
Sign here, please: Magna Carta Island
propertyYours for a cool £4m
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people
News
The Commonwealth flag flies outside Westminster Abbey in central London
news
Arts and Entertainment
Struggling actors who scrape a living working in repertory theatres should get paid a 'living wage', Sir Ian McKellen has claimed
theatre
News
Skye McCole Bartusiak's mother said she didn't use drink or drugs
peopleActress was known for role in Mel Gibson film The Patriot
Arts and Entertainment
filmThe Rock to play DC character in superhero film
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Damon Albarn is starting work on a new West End musical
artsStar's 'leftfield experimental opera' is turning mainstream
Life and Style
Paul and his father
artsPaul Carter wants to play his own father in the film of his memoirs
Sport
Ben Stokes trudges off after his latest batting failure for England as Ishant Sharma celebrates one of his seven wickets
cricket
Arts and Entertainment
Members of the public are invited to submit their 'sexcapades' to Russell T Davies' new series Tofu
tv
News
Sky's Colin Brazier rummages through an MH17 victim's belongings live on air
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch star in the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game
arts + ents'The Imitation Game' stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Training Programme Manager (Learning and Development)-London

£28000 - £32000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Training Programme Manage...

Training/Learning and Development Coordinator -London

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Training/Learning and Development Co...

Year 5/6 Teacher

£100 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: The successful applicant w...

Year 5/6 Teacher

£21000 - £35000 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: The JobThe successful ...

Day In a Page

Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn
Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Meet the man who doesn't want to go down in history as the country's last Scottish Secretary
Legoland Windsor's master model-makers reveal the tricks of their trade (including how to stop the kids wrecking your Eiffel Tower)

Meet the people who play with Lego for a living

They are the master builders: Lego's crack team of model-makers, who have just glued down the last of 650,000 bricks as they recreate Paris in Windsor. Susie Mesure goes behind the scenes
The 20 best days out for the summer holidays: From Spitfires to summer ferry sailings

20 best days out for the summer holidays

From summer ferry sailings in Tyne and Wear and adventure days at Bear Grylls Survival Academy to Spitfires at the Imperial War Museum Duxford and bog-snorkelling at the World Alternative Games...
Open-air theatres: If all the world is a stage, then everyone gets in on the act

All the wood’s a stage

Open-air productions are the cue for better box-office receipts, new audiences, more interesting artistic challenges – and a picnic
Rand Paul is a Republican with an eye on the world

Rupert Cornwell: A Republican with an eye on the world

Rand Paul is laying out his presidential stall by taking on his party's disastrous record on foreign policy
Self-preservation society: Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish

Self-preservation society

Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish
Generation gap opens a career sinkhole

Britons live ever longer, but still society persists in glorifying youth

We are living longer but considered 'past it' younger, the reshuffle suggests. There may be trouble ahead, says DJ Taylor