IOC chief Bach urges Olympic movement to accept reforms on bidding, costs

Associated Press

International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach has urged the Olympic movement to accept the Agenda 2020 reforms when they are voted upon next month, saying time has run out for discussion.

The detail of the reforms will not be made public until next week, but will include changes to the Olympic bidding process, sports programs and cost reduction.

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"The time to change is now," Bach said in his address to the Association of National Olympic Committees on Friday. "We have been discussing for one year. Now is the time for agreeing on something.

"If we want to preserve our values, we have to move. If we stand still we are falling behind."

There are 40 items on the Agenda 2020 which have been approved by the IOC Executive Board and by ANOC's Executive Council and will be voted on in an extraordinary session in Monaco on Dec. 8.

IOC Director General Christophe De Kepper addressed the meeting on the Agenda 2020 process, and the broad concepts behind the reforms.

While not elaborating on the agenda items, he said the IOC wanted to "welcome diversity in bids but also to shape the bidding process as an invitation."

He said reforms included consideration of "how to reduce the costs of bidding and also the cost of hosting the Olympic Games."

This has become a key IOC priority in light of the reluctance of potential host cities to come forward for the 2022 Winter Olympics, seemingly scared off by the $51 billion price tag associated with this year's Winter Games in Sochi.

Several cities dropped out of the bidding process for 2022, leaving only Beijing and Almaty, Kazakhstan in the running.

De Kepper said a more flexible Olympic program was under consideration, removing restrictions on the number of events within each sport and allowing host cities to make proposals on which sports are included.

Any changes would go into effect for the bidding for the 2024 Summer Games. Potential bids could come from cities in the United States, France, Italy, Turkey, Qatar, and South Africa.

The Agenda 2020 would also include plans for an Olympic television channel, to keep Olympic sports in the public eye in between games.