International Olympic Committee

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Posted by pompos 04/05/2009 @ 15:10

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Photograph: STR/AFP/Getty Images The International Olympic Committee today warmly praised Russia's preparations for the 2014 Winter Olympics, and said facilities at the Games, to be held in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, would be completed to the...
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International Olympic Committee issues new rules for athlete blogs ... - Winnipeg Free Press
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IOC's 2016 evaluation team wraps up tour of Rio - USA Today
By Filipe De Almeida, AP Writer RIO DE JANEIRO — The IOC evaluation team said it was "very impressed" with Rio de Janeiro's bid to host the 2016 Olympics as it wrapped up its weeklong tour of the city on Saturday. "We have been most impressed to find...
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By Ben Bradley May 6, 2009 (CHICAGO) (WLS) -- As the IOC team arrives Spain, Madrid 2016 is accused of sending a spy to Rio. But someone was checking out Chicago, too. The International Olympic Committee is visiting Madrid, the fourth and final city...
Beijing 1500 gold medallist tests positive - Reuters
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said Tuesday it had discovered seven more positive drugs results from re-testing samples taken from Beijing involving six athletes. The Italian and Bahrain Olympic Committees confirmed the Rebellin and Ramzi...
African softball leader strengthens Olympic campaign -
International Olympic Committee Member and President of the Gambian Softball Federation, Beatrice Allen, joined the ISF Council. Ms. Allen's appointment is a significant move for softball exactly one month before the ISF makes their presentation to the...
Investigation opens in hockey kickback case - Swissinfo
Fasel has denied any wrongdoing and "has made himself available to give any necessary explanations", the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said in a statement. Fasel is a member of the IOC's executive board and had contacted the group's ethics...

International Olympic Committee

Olympic Rings.svg

The International Olympic Committee (French: Comité International Olympique) is an organization based in Lausanne, Switzerland, created by Pierre de Coubertin and Demetrios Vikelas on June 23, 1894. Its membership consists of the 205 National Olympic Committees.

The IOC organizes the modern Olympic Games held in Summer and Winter, every four years. The first Summer Olympics organized by the International Olympic Committee held in Athens, Greece, in 1896; the first Winter Olympics in Chamonix, France, in 1924. 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 two years apart from one another.

On June 23, 1894 the Olympic games were re-created by Pierre de Coubertin after a hiatus of 1500 years. The baron hoped to foster international communication and peace through the Olympic Games. The IOC is a parent organization intended to localize administration and authority for the Games, as well as to provide a single legal entity which owns copyrights, trademarks, and other intangible properties associated with the Olympic games. For example, the Olympic logos, the design of the Olympic flag, the motto, creed, and anthem are all owned and administered by the IOC. There are other organizations which the IOC coordinates as well, which are collectively called the Olympic Movement. The IOC President is responsible for representing the IOC as a whole, and there are members of the IOC which represent the IOC in their respective countries.

Professor David C. Young of the University of Florida has conducted research suggesting that the revival of the modern Olympic Games was planted firmly in both Greece and the United Kingdom by Evangelos Zappas and Dr William Penny Brookes respectively.

The mission of the IOC is to promote Olympism throughout the world and to lead the Olympic Movement.

The 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.

The IOC Executive Board consists of the President, four Vice-Presidents and ten other members. All members of the IOC Executive Board are elected by the Session, in a secret ballot, by a majority of the votes cast. The IOC Executive Board assumes the general overall responsibility for the administration of the IOC and the management of its affairs.

The IOC Session elects, by secret ballot, the IOC President from among its members for a term of eight years renewable once for four years. The next President election will then take place in 2009. The President represents the IOC and presides over all its activities. Former President Juan Antonio Samaranch has been elected Honorary President For Life.

The IOC publishes Olympic Review and Revue Olympique since 1894.

For most of its existence, the IOC was controlled by members who were co-opted, which means they were selected by other members. Countries that had hosted the Games were allowed two members, others one or none. When named, they became not representatives of their respective countries to the IOC, but rather the opposite, IOC members in their respective countries.

For a long time, members of royalty have been members of co-option, such as Prince Albert de Monaco, as have former athletes. These last 10 years, the composition has evolved, in order to get a better representation of the sports world. Members seats have been allocated specifically to athletes, International Federations leaders and National Olympic Committees leaders.

The total number of IOC members may not exceed 115. Each member of the IOC is elected for a term of eight years and may be re-elected for one or several further terms.

The Olympic Movement generates revenue through five major programs. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) manages broadcast partnerships and the TOP worldwide sponsorship program. The Organizing Committees for the Olympic Games (OCOGs) manage domestic sponsorship, ticketing and licensing programs within the host country under the direction of the IOC. The Olympic Movement generated a total of more than US$4 billion in revenue during the most recent Olympic quadrennium (2001–2004).

The IOC distributes approximately 92% of Olympic marketing revenue to organizations throughout the Olympic Movement to support the staging of the Olympic Games and to promote the worldwide development of sport. The IOC retains approximately 8% of Olympic marketing revenue for the operational and administrative costs of governing the Olympic Movement.

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

The continued success of the TOP program 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.

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 Olympic Games and the Olympic Winter Games, 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 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 that the IOC provided to the summer IFs following Sydney 2000.

The IOC contributes Olympic marketing revenue to the programs of various recognized international sports organizations, including the International Paralympic Committee, the Paralympic Organizing Committee, and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

Countries bidding to host the Summer Olympic Games or the Winter Olympic Games compete aggressively to have their bid accepted by the IOC. The IOC members, representing most of the member countries, vote to decide where the Games will take place. Members from countries which have cities bidding to host the games are excluded from the voting process, up until the point where their city drops out of the contest. Sochi, Russia, was elected as the host city of the 2014 Winter Olympics on July 4, 2007 during the 119th International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session in Guatemala City, Guatemala. The next host city for the 2016 Summer Games will be announced at the 121st Session (which will also be the XIIIth Olympic Congress) held in Copenhagen, Denmark, on October 2, 2009.

In recent years, the contest for the right to host the games has grown increasingly fierce. Allegations were leveled after the 1996 Olympics that Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games (ACOG) organizers bribed members of the IOC to obtain the Olympic Games. However, ACOG documents were destroyed prior to a formal inquiry and the allegations remain unproven. In his defense, ACOG Chairman Billy Payne said "Atlanta's bidding effort included excessive actions, even thought processes, that today seem inappropriate but, at the time, reflected the prevailing practices in the selection process and an extremely competitive environment." In 2002, Salt Lake City was involved in a bribery scandal but earlier stories, reported by British journalists Vyv Simson and Andrew Jennings, date back decades. Corruption in the IOC has been documented by numerous investigations. After the Salt Lake City scandal in which a number of IOC members were expelled following an extensive investigation, efforts were made to clamp down on abuses of the bid city process. More stringent rules were introduced and an advisory board of recently retired former athletes was set up. Critics of the organization believe more fundamental reform is required, for instance replacing the self-perpetuating system of delegate selection with a more democratic process.

Even legal attempts to sway the IOC to accept a city's bid can spark controversy, such as Beijing's successful bid to host the 2008 Summer Olympics. Several human rights organizations spoke out against the controversial human rights condition of China, in conflict with the Olympic Charter of the IOC.

In an August 2007 interview on the Beijing 2008 website, IOC President Jacques Rogge said, the IOC "definitely would love to see the continents that have not yet organized the Games like Africa or Latin America do that in the future. I cannot tell you exactly when, but I will see it in my life... We believe in the near future we can determine the host country under this rotating system. As of now, we haven’t set a timetable for starting this system”.

Scandal broke on December 10, 1998, when Swiss IOC member Marc Hodler, head of the coordination committee overseeing the organization of the 2002 games, announced that several members of the IOC had taken bribes. Soon four independent investigations were underway: by the IOC, the 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. Johnson and Welch were eventually acquitted of all criminal charges in December 2003.

As a result of the investigation ten members of the IOC were expelled and another ten were sanctioned. This was the first expulsion or sanction for corruption in the more than a century the IOC had existed. Although nothing strictly illegal had been done, it was felt that the acceptance of the gifts was morally dubious. Stricter rules were adopted for future bids and ceilings 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.

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.

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. 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. 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.

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

The Swedish government received a letter from the Vice President of IOC where she asked the minister of justice to take action against the file sharing network The Pirate Bay, that contains links to the opening ceremony from the olympics. In Sweden that would constitute the crime of "ministerstyre" (minister rule). The vice president of IOC is Swedish and has been reported to the police, since she should have known this is a crime.

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121st International Olympic Committee Session

Logo of the 121st IOC Session.

The 121st International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session is scheduled to be held on October 2, 2009 in Copenhagen, Denmark, in which the host city of the 2016 Summer Olympics will be decided. The city of Copenhagen was chosen in February 8 by the 118th IOC Session held in Turin, Italy to stage the 13th Olympic Congress, together with the meetings of the Executive Board and the 121st IOC Session. The other candidates were Athens (Greece), Busan (South Korea), Cairo (Egypt), Riga (Latvia), Singapore (Singapore), Taipei (Chinese Taipei). Convened on the initiative of President Jacques Rogge, the 13th Olympic Congress will bring together all the constituent parties of the Olympic Movement to study and discuss the current functioning of the Movement and define the main development axes for the future.

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Olympic Games

Olympic rings.svg

The Olympic Games are an international multi-sport event established for both summer and winter sports. There have been two generations of the Olympic Games; the first were the Ancient Olympic Games (Greek: Ολυμπιακοί Αγώνες; (help·info)) held at Olympia, Greece. The second, known as the Modern Olympic Games, were first revived in the late 19th century.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) was founded in 1894 on the initiative of, Pierre de Coubertin. It has become the governing body of the Olympic Movement, which is defined by the Olympic Charter. The evolution of the Olympic Movement during the 20th century forced the IOC to adapt the Games in several ways. Some of these adaptations include the addition of a Winter Games, a Paralympics, and an Olympic Games for teenagers. The IOC has also had to cope with the changing economic, political, and technological realities of the 20th century. The Olympics began to shift away from the pure amateur athlete as envisioned by Coubertin, they also navigated the Cold War and the overt use of the Games for political gain. The medium of television created the issue of corporate sponsorship and the commercialization of the Games.

The Olympic Movement is comprised of International sports federations, National Olympic committees and organizing committees for each specific Olympic Games. The IOC is the decision-making body. They initiate an Olympic Games by selecting a host city, which is usually announced six to seven years in advance of the Games. The host city is responsible to organize and fund a celebration of the Games consistent with the Olympic Charter. The Olympic program (which consists of the sports to be competed at an Olympic Games) is also determined by the IOC.

The Games have grown in scale to the point that nearly every nation on Earth is represented at a celebration of the Games. This growth has created numerous challenges, including boycotts, the use of performance enhancing drugs, bribery of officials, and terrorism. The Games encompass many rituals and symbols such as the Olympic flag and torch as well as the opening and closing ceremonies. Every four years the Olympics enable athletes, who compete in relative obscurity, the chance to attain national, and in the case of a few, international fame. The Games also afford the populations of host cities the opportunity to showcase their home to the world.

There is little certain about the origins of the Ancient Olympics. Greeks gave several rather incompatible foundation legends; the most popular ones identify Heracles and his father Zeus as the progenitors of the Games. According to the legend, it is Heracles who first called the Games "Olympic" and established the custom of holding them every four years. One popular story claims that after Heracles completed his twelve labors, he went on to build the Olympic stadium and surrounding buildings as an honor to Zeus. After the stadium was complete, he walked in a straight line for 200 steps and called this distance a "stadion" (Greek: στάδιον, Latin: stadium, "stage"), which later became a unit of distance. Another myth associates the first Games with the ancient Greek concept of Olympic truce (ἐκεχειρία, ekecheiria). The most widely held estimate for the inception of the Ancient Olympics is 776 BC, this is based on inscriptions found of the winners of a footrace held every four years starting in 776 BC. Tradition has it that Coroebus, a cook from the city of Elis, was the first Olympic champion. From then on, the Olympic Games quickly became important throughout ancient Greece. They reached their zenith in the 6th and 5th centuries BC. The Olympics were of fundamental religious importance, featuring sporting events alongside ritual sacrifices honoring both Zeus (whose famous statue by Phidias stood in his temple at Olympia) and Pelops, divine hero and mythical king of Olympia. Pelops was famous for his legendary chariot race with King Oenomaus of Pisatis. The winners of the events were admired and immortalized in poems and statues. The Games were held every four years, known as an Olympiad, and this period was used by Greeks as one of their units of time measurement. The Games were part of a cycle known as the Panhellenic Games, which included the Pythian Games, the Nemean Games, and the Isthmian Games.

Gradually, though, the Games declined in importance as the Romans gained power and influence in Greece. Some scholars date the end of the Games to 393 AD, when the emperor Theodosius I declared that all pagan cults and practices be eliminate; others believe that the Games ended in 426 AD, when his successor Theodosius II ordered the destruction of all Greek temples. After the demise of the Olympics, they were not held again for another 1,500 years.

The first significant attempt to emulate the ancient Olympic games was the nationwide L'Olympiade de la République, an Olympic festival held annually, from 1796 to 1798, in Revolutionary France. The competition included several disciplines from the ancient Greek Olympics. The 1796 Games also marked the introduction of the metric system into sport.

In 1850 an Olympian Class began at Much Wenlock, in Shropshire, England. It was renamed the Wenlock Olympian Games in 1859, and continues today as the Wenlock Olympian Society Annual Games. In 1866, a national Olympic Games in Great Britain was organized by Dr. William Penny Brookes at London's Crystal Palace.

Greek interest in reviving the Olympic Games began after the country's independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1829 and was first proposed by poet and newspaper editor Panagiotis Soutsos in his poem "Dialogue of the Dead", published in 1833. Evangelis Zappas, a wealthy Greek philanthropist, sponsored the revival of the ancient Olympic Games. The first modern international Olympic Games was held in 1859 in an Athens city square with participants from Greece and the Ottoman Empire. Later Zappas paid for the complete restoration of the ruins of the ancient Panathenian Stadium so that it could stage two further editions of the Games, one in 1870 and a second in 1875.

French historian Baron Pierre de Coubertin was searching for a reason for the French defeat in the Franco-Prussian War (1870–1871). He theorized that the French soldiers had not received proper physical education. In 1890 after attending the Olympian Games of the Wenlock Olympian Society, Coubertin decided that a large-scale revival of the Olympic Games was achievable. Until that time, attempts to create a modern version of the ancient Olympic Games had met with various amounts of success at the local (one, or at most two, participating nations) level.

Coubertin built on the ideas of Brookes and Zappas with the aim to internationalize the Olympic Games. He presented these ideas during the first Olympic Congress of the newly created International Olympic Committee (IOC). This meeting was held from June 16 to June 23, 1894, at the Sorbonne University in Paris. On the last day of the Congress, it was decided that the first multinational Olympic Games would take place two years later in Athens. The IOC was fully responsible for the Games' organization, and, for that purpose, elected the Greek writer Demetrius Vikelas as its first president.

There were fewer than 250 athletes at the first Olympic Games of the modern times. The Panathenian Stadium, restored for Zappas's Games of 1870 and 1875, was refurbished a second time in preparation for this inaugural edition. These Olympics featured nine sporting disciplines: athletics, cycling, fencing, gymnastics, shooting, swimming, tennis, weightlifting, and wrestling; rowing events were scheduled for competition but had to be cancelled due to bad weather conditions. The Greek officials and public were enthusiastic about the experience of hosting the inaugural Games. This feeling was shared by many of the athletes, who even demanded that Athens be the host of the Olympic Games on a permanent basis. The IOC had, however, envisaged these modern Olympics to be an itinerating and truly global event, and thus decided differently, planning for the second edition to take place in Paris.

After the initial success of the 1896 Games, the Olympics endured a struggling period that threatened their survival. The celebrations in Paris in 1900 and St. Louis in 1904 were overshadowed by the World's Fair exhibitions, which were held at the same time frames and locations. The St. Louis Games, for example, hosted 650 athletes, but 580 were originally from the United States. The homogenous nature of these editions was a low point for the Olympic Movement, even though it was in Paris that women were first allowed to compete. The Games rebounded when the 1906 Intercalated Games (so-called because they were the second Games held within the third Olympiad) were held in Athens. The Intercalated Games are not officially recognized as an official Olympic Games, and no later Intercalated Games have been held. These Games attracted a broad international field of participants, and generated great public interest. This marked the beginning of a rise in both the popularity and the size of the Games.

While both figure skating (1908 and 1920 Games) and ice hockey (1920 Games) had featured as Olympic events at the Summer Olympics, the IOC looked upon equity between winter and summer sports. At the 1921 Congress, in Lausanne, it decided to hold a winter version of the Olympic Games. The first Winter Olympics were held in 1924 in Chamonix, France, though they were only officially recognized by the IOC as such in the following year. The IOC made the Winter Games a permanent fixture in the Olympic Movement in 1925 and mandated that they be celebrated every four years on the same year as their Summer counterpart. This tradition was maintained until the 1992 Games in Albertville, France; after that, beginning with the 1994 Games, further Winter Games have been held on the third year of each Olympiad.

In 1948 Sir Ludwig Guttman, determined to innovate new ways to rehabilitate soldiers after World War II, organized a multi-sport event between various hospitals to coincide with the 1948 London Olympics. Guttman's event, known then as the Stoke Mandeville Games, became an annual sports festival. Over the next twelve years, Guttman and others continued their efforts to use sports as an avenue to healing. For the 1960 Olympic Games, in Rome, Guttman brought 400 athletes to compete in the "Parallel Olympics", which became known as the first Paralympics. Since then, the Paralympics have been held in every Olympic year; since the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea, the host city for the Olympics has also played host to the Paralympics.

The Youth Olympic Games (YOG) were conceived by IOC president Jacques Rogge, in 2001, and approved by the IOC during the 119th IOC session, held in July 2007 in Guatemala City. The Youth Olympics will feature athletes who are 14–18 years of age. These Games will be shorter than the senior Games, the summer version will last twelve days, while the winter version will last a maximum of nine days. The IOC will allow no more than 3,500 athletes and 875 officials to participate at the Summer Youth Games, and 970 athletes and 580 officials at the Winter Youth Games. The sports to be contested will coincide with those scheduled for the traditional senior Games, however with a reduced number of disciplines and events. The host city for the first Summer Youth Games will be Singapore, in 2010, while the inaugural Winter Games will be hosted in Innsbruck, Austria, two years later.

From the 241 participants representing 14 nations in 1896, the Games have grown to 10,500 competitors from 204 countries at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. The scope and scale of the Winter Olympics is comparatively smaller. For example, Turin hosted 2,508 athletes from 80 countries competing in 84 events, during the 2006 Winter Olympics.

The number of participating countries is noticeably higher than the 193 countries that are current members of the United Nations. The IOC allows nations to compete that do not meet the strict requirements for political sovereignty that other international organizations demand. As a result, colonies and dependencies are permitted to set up their own Olympic teams and athletes, even if such competitors also hold citizenship in another member nation. Examples of this include territories such as Puerto Rico, Bermuda, and Hong Kong, all of which compete as separate nations despite being legally a part of another country.

French and English are the official languages of the Olympic Movement. The other official language used at each Olympic Games is the official language of the host country. Consequently, every proclamation (such as the announcement of each country during the parade of nations in the opening ceremony) is spoken in these three languages.

The advent of the internet created unwelcome competition for television companies. The television medium could not compete with the instant results provided by the internet. Their response was to shift coverage from pure reporting of events to creating a story-line. Ratings are the yardstick of success for television companies. If the ratings are below expectation, the television companies are required to give away free advertising time to their sponsors. Viewership on the whole has increased exponentially since the 1960's. World-wide audience estimates for the 1968 Mexico Games was 600 million. At the Los Angeles Games of 1984 the audience numbers had increased to 900 million. That number swelled to 3.5 billion by the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona. At the turn of the century there was a sudden drop in ratings. This was attributed to increased competition from cable channels for viewers along with too much tape-delayed content in which the outcome was already known. With such high costs charged by the IOC, the added pressure of the internet, and increased competition from cable, the television lobby demanded concessions from the IOC in order to boost ratings. The IOC responded by making a number of changes to the Olympic program. They expanded the gymnastics competition from seven to nine nights, for example, and added a "Champions Gala" in order to draw greater ratings. They also expanded the swimming and diving programs, both sports that are popular with a broad base of television veiwers. Finally the American television lobby was able to dictate when certain events were held so that they could be broadcast live during prime time in the United States. The result of these efforts was mixed, the ratings for the Turino Winter Games of 2006 were significantly lower than the 2002 Games, while there was a sharp increase in viewership for the 2008 Summer Olympics.

During the first half of the 20th century the IOC was run on a small budget, staffed by volunteers. As president of the IOC from 1952 to 1972, Avery Brundage rejected all attempts to link the Olympics with commercial interest. Brundage believed the lobby of corporate interests, especially that of the television companies, would allow them to unduly impact the IOC's decision-making. Brundage's resistance to this revenue stream meant the IOC was slow to seek a share of the financial windfall that was coming to host cities, who were signing their own sponsorship deals, and also slow to control how sponsorship contracts would be structured. When Brundage retired the IOC had USD $2 million in assets, eight years later the IOC coffers had swelled to USD $45 million. This was primarily due to a shift in ideology among IOC members toward expansion of the Games through corporate sponsorship and the sale of television rights. When Juan Antonio Samaranch was elected IOC president in 1980 his stated desire was to make the IOC financially independent.

The 1984 Summer Olympics became a watershed moment in Olympic history. The Los Angeles-based organizing committee led by Peter Ueberroth was able to generate a surplus of USD $225 million, which was an unprecedented amount at that time. The organizing committee had been able to create such a surplus in part by selling exclusive sponsorship rights to select companies. The IOC, under Samaranch's guidance, sought to gain control of these sponsorship rights. He helped to establish, "The Olympic Program" (TOP) in 1985, with the stated goal of creating an Olympic "brand". Membership in TOP was, and is, very exclusive, and expensive, with fees running upwards of USD $50 million for a four year membership. Members of TOP received exclusive global advertising rights for their product category, and use of the Olympic symbol, the interlocking rings, in their publications and advertisements.

The overt sale of the Olympic brand has been controversial. The argument is that the Games have become indistinguishable from any other massively commercialized sporting spectacle. They have also been criticized for marketing saturation at the 1996 Atlanta and 2000 Sydney Games. The cities were awash in various corporations and merchants attempting to sell their various Olympic-related wares. The IOC responded by indicating they would address this in order to prevent further spectacles of overt marketing at future Games. A third criticizm is that the Games are funded by host cities and national governments, the IOC incurs none of this cost, yet controls all the rights to license the Olympic symbols. They also take a percentage of all sponsorship and broadcast income. Host cities continue to compete ardently for the right to host the Games, even though there is no certainty that they will meet all their financial obligations.

The IOC has often been criticized for being an intractable organization, with several members on the committee for life. The leadership of IOC presidents Juan Antonio Samaranch and Avery Brundage was especially controversial. Brundage was president of the IOC for over 20 years. During his tenure he protected the Olympics from untoward political involvement. He was also accused of both racism, for his handling of the apartheid issue with the South African delegation, and anti-Semitism. Under the Samaranch presidency the office was accused of both nepotism and corruption. Samaranch's ties with the Franco regime in Spain was also a source of criticism.

In 1998, it was uncovered that several IOC members had taken bribes from the organizing committee for the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, United States. The bribes were intended to insure their votes for Salt Lake City to host the 2002 Games. The IOC started an investigation, which led to four members resigning and six being expelled. The scandal set off further reforms, changing the way host cities are selected to avoid further bribes.

A BBC documentary, which aired in August 2004, entitled Panorama: Buying the Games, investigated the taking of bribes in the bidding process for the 2012 Summer Olympics. The documentary claimed it is possible to bribe IOC members into voting for a particular candidate city. After being narrowly defeated in their bid for the 2012 Summer Games, Parisian Mayor Bertrand Delanoë specifically accused the British Prime Minister Tony Blair and the London Bid Committee (headed by former Olympic gold medalist Sebastian Coe) of breaking the bid rules. He cited French President Jacques Chirac as a witness; Chirac gave guarded interviews regarding his involvement. The issue was never fully pursued. The Turin bid for the 2006 Winter Olympics was also shrouded in controversy. A prominent member of the IOC, Marc Hodler, himself strongly connected with rival Sion, Switzerland's bid, alleged bribery of IOC officials by members of the Turin Organizing Committee. These accusations led to a wide-ranging investigation. The allegations also served to sour many IOC members to Sion's bid and may have helped Turin to capture the host city nomination.

The Olympic Movement uses symbols to represent the ideals embodied in the Olympic Charter. The Olympic rings are the main image of the Movement and one of the world's most recognized symbols. The five intertwined rings represent the unity of the five inhabited continents (with the Americas regarded as a single continent).

The five colored rings on a white field form the Olympic flag. The colors—white, red, blue, green, yellow, and black—were chosen because every nation had at least one of these colors in its national flag. The flag was adopted in 1914, but was first flown only at the 1920 Summer Olympics in Antwerp, Belgium. It is hoisted in each opening ceremony of the Games and lowered at the closure.

The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well.

Months before each Games, the Olympic flame is lit in Olympia in a ceremony that reflects ancient Greek rituals. A female performer, acting as a priestess, ignites a torch by placing it inside a parabolic mirror which focuses the sun's rays; she then lights the torch of the first relay bearer, thus initiating the Olympic torch relay that will carry the flame to the host city's Olympic stadium, where it plays an important role in the opening ceremony. Though the flame has been an Olympic symbol since 1928, the torch relay was only introduced in 1936, as part of the German government's attempt to promote its National Socialist ideology.

The Olympic mascot, an animal or human figure representing the cultural heritage of the host country, was introduced in 1968. It has played an important part of the Games since 1980, with the success of Misha, the Russian bear. The mascots of the most recent Summer Olympics, in Beijing, were the Fuwa. They are five creatures that represent the five fengshui elements important in Chinese culture.

As mandated by the Olympic Charter, various elements frame the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games. Most of these rituals were established at the 1920 Summer Olympics in Antwerp. The ceremony typically starts with the hoisting of the host country's flag and a performance of its national anthem. The host nation then presents artistic displays of music, singing, dance, and theater representative of its culture. The artistic presentations have grown in scale and complexity as successive hosts attempt to provide a ceremony that outlasts its predecessor's in terms of memorability. The opening ceremony of the Beijing Games reportedly cost $100 million, with much of the cost incurred in the artistic segment. After the artistic portion of the ceremony, the athletes parade in by nation. Various speeches are given formally opening the Games, and finally, the Olympic Torch is brought into the stadium and passed on until it reaches the last carrier. This person is often a well-known and successful Olympic athlete from the host nation—who lights the Olympic Flame in the stadium's cauldron.

The closing ceremony of the Olympic Games takes place after all sporting events have concluded. Flag-bearers from each participating country enter the stadium, followed by the athletes who enter en masse without any national distinction. Three national flags are hoisted while the corresponding national anthems are played: the flag of Greece, to honor the birthplace of the Olympic Games; the flag of the current host country, and the flag of the country hosting the next Summer or Winter Olympic Games. The president of the organizing committee and the IOC president make their closing speeches, and the Games are then officially closed. The Olympic Flame is extinguished. In what is known as the Antwerp Ceremony, the mayor of the city that organized the Games transfers a special Olympic flag to the president of the IOC, who then passes it on to the mayor of the city hosting the next Olympic Games. After these compulsory elements, the next host nation briefly introduces itself with artistic displays of dance and theater representative of its culture.

After completion of each Olympic event, a medal ceremony is held, where the best three athletes stand on top of a three-tiered rostrum to be awarded their respective medals. After the medals are given out by an IOC member, the national flags of the three medalists are raised while the national anthem of the gold medalist's country plays. Volunteering citizens of the host country also act as hosts during the medal ceremonies, as they aid the officials who present the medals and act as flag-bearers. For every Olympic event, the respective medal ceremony is held, at most, one day after the event's final. A notable exception is the men's marathon: the competition is usually held early in the morning on the last day of Olympic competition and its medal ceremony is then held in the evening during the closing ceremony.

Currently, the Olympic Games program consists of 33 sports, 52 disciplines and nearly 400 events. For example, Wrestling is a Summer Olympic sport, it is comprised of two disciplines, Greco-Roman and Freestyle. It is further broken down into fourteen events for men and four events for women. These events are dileneated by weight classes. The Summer Olympics program includes 26 sports, while the Winter Olympics program comprises 7 sports. Athletics, swimming, fencing, and artistic gymnastics are the only summer sports that have never been absent from the Olympic program since 1896. Cross-country skiing, figure skating, ice hockey, Nordic combined, ski jumping, and speed skating have been featured at every Winter Olympics program since 1924. Current Olympic sports, like badminton, basketball, and volleyball, first appeared on the program as demonstration sports, and were later promoted to full Olympic sports. Some sports that were featured in earlier Games were dropped from the program at some point.

The Olympic sports are governed by international sports federations (IFs) recognized by the IOC as the global supervisors of those sports. There are 35 fererations recognized by the IOC. There are sports recognized by the IOC that are not included on the Olympic program. These sports are not considered "Olympic" sports, but they can be promoted to this status during a program revision that occurs in the first IOC session following a celebration of the Olympic Games. During such revision, sports can be excluded or included in the program based on a two-thirds majority vote of the members of the IOC. Many of the recognized sports were competed in early Olympic Games or were demonstration sports at one time. There are also recognized sports have never been on an Olympic program in any capacity. Some of these recongized sports include tug of war, chess, golf, and surfing. An Olympic sport that was voted out of the program does not lose its status and may be reincluded at a subsequent Games.

In October and November of 2004, the IOC established an "Olympic Programme Commisssion", which was tasked with reviewing the sports on the Olympic program and all non-Olympic recognized sports. The goal being to apply a systematic approach to establishing the Olympic program for each celebration of the Games. The commission formulated seven criteria to judge whether a sport should be included on the Olympic program. These criteria are: History and tradition of the sport, Universality, Popularity of the sport, Image, Athletes' health, Development of the International Federation that governs the sport, and Costs of competing the sport. From this study five recognized sports emerged as candidates for possible inclusion at the 2012 Summer Olympics: golf, karate, rugby, roller sports and squash. These sports were reviewed by the IOC Executive Board and then referred to the General Session in Singapore in July 2005. Of the five sports recommended for inclusion only two were selected as finalists: karate and squash. Neither sport attained the required two-thirds vote and were not promoted to the Olympic program.

The 114th IOC Session, in 2002, limited the Summer Games program to a maximum of 28 sports, 301 events, and 10,500 athletes. Three years later, at the 117th IOC Session, the first major program revision was performed, which resulted in the exclusion of baseball and softball from the official program of the 2012 London Games. Since there was no agreement in the promotion of two other sports, the 2012 program will feature just 26 sports.

The ethos of the aristocracy as exemplified in the English public schools greatly influenced Pierre de Coubertin. The public schools subscribed to the belief that sport formed an important part of education, an attitude summed up in the saying mens sana in corpore sano, a sound mind in a sound body. In this ethos, a gentleman was one who became an all-rounder, not the best at one specific thing. There was also a prevailing concept of fairness, in which practicing or training was considered tantamount to cheating. Those who practiced a sport professionally were considered to have an unfair advantage over those who practiced it merely as a hobby.

The exclusion of professionals caused several controversies throughout the history of the modern Olympics. The 1912 Olympic pentathlon and decathlon champion Jim Thorpe was stripped of his medals when it was discovered that he had played semi-professional baseball before the Olympics. He was restored as champion on compassionate grounds by the IOC in 1983. Swiss and Austrian skiers boycotted the 1936 Winter Olympics in support of their skiing teachers, who were not allowed to compete because they earned money with their sport and were thus considered professionals.

As class structure evolved through the 20th century, the definition of the amateur athlete as an aristocratic gentleman became outdated. 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. Nevertheless, the IOC held to the traditional rules regarding amateurism. Beginning in the 1970s, amateurism requirements were gradually phased out of the Olympic Charter. Eventually the decisions on professional participation were left to the IFs. As of 2004, the only sport in which no professionals compete is boxing, although even this requires a definition of amateurism based on fight rules rather than on payment, as some boxers receive cash prizes from their National Olympic Committees. In men's football (soccer), the number of players over 23 years eligible to participate in the Olympic tournament is limited to three per team. This is done in order to maintain a level of amateurism.

The 1956 Melbourne Olympics were the first Olympics to be boycotted. The Netherlands, Spain, and Switzerland refused to attend because of the repression of the Hungarian uprising by the Soviet Union; additionally, Cambodia, Egypt, Iraq and Lebanon boycotted the Games due to the Suez Crisis. In 1972 and 1976 a large number of African countries threatened the IOC with a boycott to force them to ban South Africa and Rhodesia, because of their segregationist regimes. New Zealand was also one of the African boycott targets, due to the "All Blacks" (national rugby team) having toured apartheid-ruled South Africa. The IOC conceded in the first two cases, but refused to ban New Zealand on the grounds that rugby was not an Olympic sport. Fulfilling their threat, twenty African countries were joined by Guyanna and Iraq in a Tanzania-led withdrawal from the Montreal Games, after a few of their athletes had already competed. Taiwan also decided to skip these Games since the People's Republic of China (PRC)—not attending the Games after breaking away with the IOC, in 1958, over the island's political status within the organization—exerted pressure on the Montreal organizing committee to keep the delegation from the Republic of China (ROC) from competing under the such name. The ROC refused a proposed compromise that would have still allowed them to use the ROC flag and anthem as long as the name was changed. Taiwan did not participate again until 1984, when it returned under the name of Chinese Taipei and with a special flag and anthem.

In 1980 and 1984, the Cold War opponents boycotted each other's Games. Sixty-five nations refused to compete at the Moscow 1980 Olympics because of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. This boycott reduced the number of nations participating to only 81, the lowest number since 1956. The Soviet Union and 14 of its Eastern Bloc partners (except Romania) countered by boycotting the Los Angeles 1984 Olympics, contending that they could not guarantee the safety of their athletes. Soviet officials were quoted as saying that "chauvinistic sentiments and an anti-Soviet hysteria are being whipped up in the United States", this being the reason for not attending the Games. The boycotting nations staged their own alternate event, the Friendship Games, in July and August.

There had been growing calls for boycotts of Chinese goods and the 2008 Olympics in Beijing in protest of China's human rights record and response to the recent disturbances in Tibet, Darfur, and Taiwan. U.S. President George W. Bush showcased these concerns in a highly publicized speech in Thailand just prior to the opening of the Games. Ultimately, no nation withdrew before the Games.

Contrary to its refounding principles, the Olympic Games have been used as a vehicle to promote political ideologies. The Soviet Union, for example, did not participate until the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki. Instead, in 1928, the Soviets organized an international sports event called Spartakiads. Other communist countries organized Workers Olympics during the inter-war period of the 1920s and 1930s. These events were held as an alternative to the Olympics, which were seen as a capitalist and aristocratic event. It was not until the 1960 Games that the Soviets emerged as a sporting superpower and, in doing so, took full advantage of the publicity that came with winning at the Olympics.

Individual athletes have also used the Olympic stage to promote their own political agenda. At the 1968 Summer Olympics, in Mexico City, two American track and field athletes, Tommie Smith and John Carlos, who finished first and third in the 200 meter sprint race, performed the Black Power salute on the victory stand. The second place finisher Peter Norman wore an Olympic Project for Human Rights badge in support of Smith and Carlos. In response to the protest, IOC President Avery Brundage told the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) to either send the two athletes home or withdraw the complete track and field team. The USOC opted for the former. The photo of the three men on the medal podium has become an iconic Olympic image.

Far from being a thing of the past, interference of politics in the Games still occurs. The government of Iran has taken steps to avoid any competition between its athletes and those from Israel. Evidence of this was seen at the 2004 Summer Olympics when an Iranian judoka did not compete in a match against an Israeli. Although he was officially disqualified for excessive weight, Arash Miresmaeli was awarded US$125,000 in prize money by the Iranian government, an amount paid to all Iranian gold medal winners. He was officially cleared of intentionally avoiding the bout, but his receipt of the prize money raised suspicion.

The Olympics feature individual athletes who compete within a national team, and their motivation to succeed is both personal achievement and national glory. With the increase in global mobility, the athlete's national identity can become blurred. Kristy Coventry, a white Zimbabwean swimmer, spent eight years training for the 2004 and 2008 Summer Olympics while living in the United States. Her victories in Beijing sparked a wave of national pride that temporarily set aside mounting political and racial tension in Zimbabwe.

In the early 20th century, many Olympic athletes began using drugs to improve their athletic abilities. For example, the winner of the marathon at the 1904 Games, Thomas J. Hicks, was given strychnine and brandy by his coach. As these methods became more extreme, it became increasingly evident that doping was not only a threat to the integrity of sport but could also have potentially fatal side effects on the athlete. The only Olympic death linked to doping occurred at the Rome Games of 1960. During the cycling road race, Danish cyclist Knud Enemark Jensen fell from his bicycle and later died. A coroner's inquiry found that he was under the influence of amphetamines. By the mid-1960s, sports federations were starting to ban the use of performance enhancing drugs, and the IOC followed suit in 1967.

The first Olympic athlete to test positive for the use of performance enhancing drugs was Hans-Gunnar Liljenwall, a Swedish pentathlete at the 1968 Summer Olympics, who lost his bronze medal for alcohol use. The most publicized doping-related disqualification was that of Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson, who won the 100 meter dash at the 1988 Seoul Olympics but tested positive for stanozolol. His gold medal was subsequently stripped and awarded to runner-up Carl Lewis, who himself had tested positive for banned substances prior to the Olympics but had not been banned.

In the late 1990s, the IOC took the initiative in a more organized battle against doping, leading to the formation of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in 1999. The 2000 Summer Olympics and 2002 Winter Olympics have shown that this battle is not nearly over, as several medalists in weightlifting and cross-country skiing were disqualified due to doping offenses. During the 2006 Winter Olympics, only one athlete failed a drug test and had a medal revoked. The IOC-established drug testing regimen (now known as the "Olympic Standard") has set the worldwide benchmark that other sporting federations around the world attempt to emulate. During the Beijing games, 3,667 athletes were tested by the IOC under the auspices of the World Anti-Doping Agency. Both urine and blood testing was used in a coordinated effort to detect not only banned substances but also blood doping. While several athletes were barred from competition by their National Olympic Committees prior to the Games, three athletes failed drug tests while in competition in Beijing.

Despite what Coubertin had hoped for, the Olympics did not bring total peace to the world. In fact, three Olympiads had to pass without a celebration of the Games because of war: the 1916 Games were cancelled due to World War I, and the summer and winter games of 1940 and 1944 were cancelled because of World War II. The South Ossetia War between Georgia and Russia erupted on the opening day of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. Both President Bush and Prime Minister Putin were attending the Olympics at that time and spoke together about the conflict at a luncheon hosted by Chinese President Hu Jintao. When Nino Salukvadze of Georgia won the bronze medal in the 10 meter air pistol competition, she stood on the medal podium with Natalia Paderina, a Russian shooter who had won the silver. In what became a much-publicized event from the Beijing Games, Salukvadze and Paderina embraced on the podium after the ceremony had ended.

Terrorism has also threatened the Olympic Games. In 1972, when the Summer Games were held in Munich, West Germany, eleven members of the Israeli Olympic team were taken hostage by the terrorist group Black September in what is now known as the Munich massacre. A bungled liberation attempt led to the deaths of the nine abducted athletes who had not been killed prior to the rescue. Also killed were five of the terrorists and a German policeman. Another example of terrorism at the Olympics came during the Summer Olympics in 1996 in Atlanta. A bomb was detonated at the Centennial Olympic Park, which killed 2 and injured 111 others. The bomb was set by Eric Robert Rudolph, an American domestic terrorist, who is currently serving a life sentence at ADX Florence in Florence, Colorado.

The athletes or teams who place first, second, or third in each event receive medals. The winners receive gold medals, which were solid gold until 1912. After 1912 the medals were made of gilded silver and now gold plated silver. Every gold medal must contain at least six grams of pure gold. The runners-up receive silver medals and the third-place athletes are awarded bronze medals. In events contested by a single-elimination tournament (most notably boxing), third place might not be determined and both semifinal losers receive bronze medals. The practice of awarding medals to the top three competitors was introduced in 1906; at the 1896 Olympics only the first two received a medal, first place received silver and second received bronze. Various prizes, including for works of art, were awarded in 1900. The 1904 Olympics also awarded silver trophies for first place. The three medal format was first used at the Intercalated Games of 1906. Since the IOC no longer recognizes these as official Olympic Games, the first official awarding of the three medals came in the London Olympics of 1908. From 1948 onward athletes placing fourth, fifth, and sixth have received certificates, which became officially known as "victory diplomas". In 1984 victory diplomas for seventh and eighth-place finishers were added. At the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, the gold, silver, and bronze medal winners were also given olive wreaths. The IOC does not keep track of overall medal tallies per country, but the media often publish unofficial medal counts. National Olympic Committees also keep track of medal statistics as a measure of success.

The question of which athlete is the most successful of all time is a difficult one to answer. The diversity of the sports and the evolution of the Olympic Games since 1896 complicate the matter. While it may not be the most equitable way to measure success, a list of the most titles won at the Modern Olympic Games by individuals is one way to determine the greatest Olympic athletes of all time.

The process of becoming an Olympic host city is an arduous one. The nomination of a host city to the IOC is done through the National Olympic Committee (NOC) of the country in which the city resides. The process of selecting the host city is broken into two parts. The first is the application procedure. Only one city per NOC can apply. In the prospective host city's application they must give assurances that they will comply with the Olympic Charter and with any other regulations established by the IOC Executive Committee. Once the application deadline has passed the IOC will review the applications and select the candidate cities. The IOC president establishes an Evaluation Commission for each candidate city. The Evaluation Commission visits the candidate city, interviews local officials, inspects prospective athletic sites, and submits a report on its findings no later than one month prior to the IOC session that will select the host city. The candidate city must guarantee that they will be able to fund the Games and show how that funding will be generated. The Executive Committee will review the evaluation report on each candidate city and select a final list of cities to be presented to the IOC General Session. It is the General Session that has the final vote on the host city. Once elected, the host city bid committee and the NOC of the country involved enter into a Host City Contract with the IOC. This is the final step toward becoming an official Olympic host city. Unless there is an emergency situation, the host city is selected seven years prior to the Games.

By 2012, the Olympic Games will have been hosted by 42 cities in 22 countries, but only by cities outside Europe and North America on seven occasions. Since the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea, the Olympics have been held in Asia or Oceania four times, which is a sharp increase compared to the previous 92 years of modern Olympic history. All bids by countries in South America and Africa have failed. The number in parentheses following the city or country denotes how many times that city or country had then hosted that version of the Games. The table includes the Intercalated Games of 1906, which the IOC no longer considers an official Olympic Games.

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World Anti-Doping Agency

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), French: Agence mondiale antidopage, is an independent foundation created through a collective initiative led by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). It was set up on November 10, 1999 in Lausanne, Switzerland to promote, coordinate and monitor the fight against drugs in sport. Its current chairman is former Australian finance minister John Fahey, who in 2008 succeeded Dick Pound, a former IOC vice-president and outspoken opponent of drugs in sport. In 2001, WADA voted to move its headquarters to Montreal, Canada the following year.

Initially funded by the International Olympic Committee, WADA now receives half of its budgetary requirements from them, with the other half coming from various governments throughout the world. Its governing bodies are also composed in equal parts by representatives from the sporting movement (including athletes) and governments of the world. The agency's key activities include scientific research, education, development of anti-doping capacities and monitoring of the World Anti-Doping Code - the document harmonizing regulations regarding anti-doping in all sports and countries. It also produces an annual list of prohibited substances and methods that athletes are not allowed to take or use.

As a monitoring body and leading force in the sporting world, WADA has significantly advanced the fight against doping in sport in recent years.

In 2004, the World Anti-Doping Code was implemented by sports organizations prior to the Olympic Games in Athens, Greece, harmonizing the rules and regulations governing anti-doping across all sports and all countries for the first time. Nearly 600 sports organizations (international sports federations, national anti-doping organizations, International Olympic Committee, International Paralympic Committee, a number of professional leagues in various countries of the world, etc.) have adopted the Code to date.

Following an extensive consultation period, revisions to the World Anti-Doping Code were unanimously adopted at the Third World Conference on Doping in Sport in November 2007 to incorporate the experience gained from the enforcement of the initial Code. These revisions, which include a number of measures strengthening the global fight against doping in sport, took effect on 1 January 2009.

Given that many governments cannot be legally bound by a non-governmental document such as the World Anti-Doping Code, they are implementing it by individually ratifying the UNESCO International Convention against Doping in Sport, the first global international treaty against doping in sport, which was unanimously adopted by 191 governments at the UNESCO General Conference in October 2005 and came into force in February 2007. More than 100 governments have ratified the Convention to date, setting a UNESCO record in terms of speed.

The Anti-Doping Convention of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg was opened for signature on 16 December 1989 as the first multilateral legal standard in this field. It has been signed by 48 states including the Council of Europe non-member states Australia, Belarus, Canada and Tunisia. The Convention is open for signature by other non-European states. It does not claim to create a universal model of anti-doping, but sets a certain number of common standards and regulations requiring Parties to adopt legislative, financial, technical, educational and other measures. In this sense the Convention strives for the same general aims as WADA, without being directly linked to it.

The main objective of the Convention is to promote the national and international harmonisation of the measures to be taken against doping. Furthermore the Convention describes the mission of the Monitoring Group set up in order to monitor its implementation and periodically re-examine the List of prohibited substances and methods which can be found in annex to the main text.

An Additional Protocol to the Convention entered into force on 1 April 2004 with the aim of ensuring the mutual recognition of anti-doping controls and of reinforcing the implementation of the Convention using a binding control system.

The UNESCO International Convention against Doping in Sport is the first global international treaty against doping in sport. It was unanimously adopted by 191 governments at the UNESCO General Conference in October 2005 and came into force in February 2007.

The UNESCO Convention is a practical and legally-binding tool enabling governments to align domestic policy with the World Anti-Doping Code, thus harmonizing the rules governing anti-doping in sport. It formalizes governments' commitment to the fight against doping in sport, including by facilitating doping controls and supporting national testing programs; encouraging the establishment of "best practice" in the labelling, marketing, and distribution of products that might contain prohibited substances; withholding financial support from those who engage in or support doping; taking measures against manufacturing and trafficking; encouraging the establishment of codes of conduct for professions relating to sport and anti-doping; and funding education and research.

More than 100 governments have ratified the Convention to date.

Professor Donald A. Berry has argued that the closed systems used by anti-doping agencies do not allow statistical validation of the tests. This argument was seconded by an accompanying editorial in the magazine Nature (August 7, 2008).

The anti-doping community and scientists familiar with anti-doping work rejected these arguments. On October 30, 2008, Nature (Vol 455) published a Letter from WADA to the Editor countering Berry's article.

In spite of a growing awareness of, and catering for the condition paruresis by a number of other drug testing agencies, some of which deal with convicted prisoners and those on probation, the WADA urine sampling rules do not at present cater to sufferers of this condition.

The current anti-doping code revised the "whereabouts" system in place since 2004, requiring athletes to select one hour per day fives days a week to be available for no-notice drugs tests. However on January 1st, 2009 this was extended to seven days a week and unlike the previous system athletes have to be available for the full hour.

This has led to a legal challenge from Sporta the Belgian sports union who argue that the system violates Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

FIFPro is also preparing a challenge based on data protection and employment law.

A significant number of sports organizations, governments, athletes, and other individuals and organizations have expressed support for the new whereabouts requirements. The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF opinion on "new" whereabouts requirements)and UK Sport (UK Sport Statement on Whereabouts) are two of the most vocal supporters of this rule.

WADA has also published a Q&A explaining the rationale for the change.

Both UEFA and FIFA have rejected the system citing privacy concerns .

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Source : Wikipedia