Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Rogge: Rio Olympic organizers don't need warning
LAUSANNE, Switzerland -- IOC President Jacques Rogge believes he won't need to publicly warn organizers of the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics about delayed preparations.
An IOC evaluation panel is due in Brazil on Monday to begin its latest visit, amid persistent reports that progress is behind schedule.
Rogge was reminded Wednesday that, when leading the evaluation of the 2004 Athens Olympics, local organizers were shown a soccer-style yellow card by his predecessor, Juan Antonio Samaranch.
Rogge said he asked Samaranch to issue that warning.
"I told him: `First thing you have to give is a strong warning and you only can do that as president of the IOC because your voice will carry much further than any other," Rogge said. "The same would happen in Rio if things were of such a nature that they were needed."
So far, no one from the Rio evaluation team led by Rogge's executive board colleague Nawal El Moutawakel requested a yellow card from him.
"I hope this is not going to be the case," said the IOC president, who leaves office in September. "I am confident that with the new steps that have been taken by the organizing committee, this will not be needed."
In another action which has created negative headlines for Brazil, Rogge said he was not involved in a complaint leveled by the ousted leaders of two sports against the country's Olympic officials.
The Brazilian ice sports and badminton federations claim that Brazil should face suspension by the IOC because the national Olympic body has not protected them from local court rulings. The sports say this violates the Olympic Charter which should guarantee elected sports officials freedom from political interference.
"It did not escalate to my desk probably because it's something that can be solved at another level," Rogge said when asked about the dispute.