Former IOC boss Rogge supports Bach's proposed reforms

Reuters News
Posted: Nov 07, 2014 12:50 PM

By Julian Linden

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Former Olympics chief Jacques Rogge has given his seal of approval to the proposed changes his successor wants to introduce to the Games.

Rogge, who stepped down as International Olympic Committee (IOC) president in 2013 after 12 years in the job, said he agreed with the current IOC boss Thomas Bach that reforms were needed.

"From time to time, any organization needs to reinvest itself," Rogge told reporters at the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) inaugural awards gala on Friday.

"As Thomas said in the general assembly, sport is a success today, we had a very good games in London and very good games in Sochi.

"He also said the TV audience has been rising and rising and there's a very solid financial basis, and we've created the Youth Olympic Games.

"But you have to anticipate, you have to make changes when you see that there might be problems coming up so I think it's a very good idea."

Since replacing Rogge, Bach has set about developing a 40-point plan that he hopes will modernize the Olympic movement.

He has not revealed the full details of his proposals, which will be voted on next month, but has given some clues, saying he wanted to establish an Olympic television channel and introduce more flexibility to the bidding and staging of each Olympics.

"The TV channel is something that's needed to reaffirm our presence between two different games with the interval of two years," Rogge said.

"Soccer, they play five times a week so they have continuous attention, and we need to have attention for the Olympic movement in the periods between the Games.

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"Flexibility for the bidding cities is a good idea, flexibility for the Olympic program is also a very good idea so I think many good ideas will be approved."

Rogge, who was awarded a lifetime achievement award on Friday, also played down concerns about the lack of bidders for the 2022 Winter Games and the possibility of a clash with the World Cup that year.

"I'm sure that (FIA President) Sepp Blatter and Thomas Bach will find a solution," said Rogge.

"Sepp Blatter has pledged that he would not harm the Olympic Games, and by the way he's also an IOC member, so we take his word."

(Editing by Toby Davis)