In what it described as a vital show of financial transparency, the International Olympic Committee on Thursday disclosed how much its members receive in allowances and per diem payments — including an annual 225,000 euro ($242,000) sum for President Thomas Bach.
The IOC ethics commission urged all other sports organizations in the Olympic movement to follow suit and publish their payment policies, an appeal that will put pressure especially on FIFA and its president, Sepp Blatter.
The IOC released its "indemnity policy" covering the reimbursements for Bach and other members as part of the "Olympic Agenda 2020" reforms passed in December.
"Among the principles of good governance for sports organizations, transparency is certainly one of the most important," IOC ethics commission chairman Youssoupha Ndiaye said in a letter to members. "It is the IOC's responsibility to apply this to its own governance and ... to increase the transparency of its management."
IOC presidents and members are considered volunteers and do not receive a salary, but their travel, housing costs and other expenses on Olympic duty are covered.
The IOC said executive board members and commission chairs will receive $900 daily on Olympic business, including the day before and after meetings to cover travel days. Regular IOC members will receive $450 a day at meetings and at the Olympics.
Members can also receive an annual sum of $7,000 for "administrative support," referring to office space and equipment required for IOC business in their home countries.
The IOC said Bach works 365 days a year but will forego the daily reimbursements received by others members. While in the past the president received those allowances, "for the sake of transparency the indemnity will now come from one single source," the IOC said.
The ethics commission set a single fixed sum — linked to inflation — of 225,000 ($242,000) "to cover some of the president's personal costs related to the execution of his function."
"This procedure will lead to savings for the IOC and to transparency," the committee said.
The figure does not include Bach's housing in Lausanne, Switzerland. The IOC pays for his accommodation in a suite at the Lausanne Palace hotel, where predecessors Jacques Rogge and Juan Antonio Samaranch also resided during their years in office.
The issue of whether the IOC presidency should be a salaried position has been debated for years. Rogge, near the end of his term, proposed that his successor be paid, but the idea was dropped when most of the candidates said they would not accept a salary.
One candidate, Sergei Bubka, said he backed the idea because the presidency is a full-time job. But he said he would have donated his salary to charity because he was well-off enough to go without pay.
The IOC decision to release the figures contrasts with the secrecy of other bodies such as FIFA.
"The IOC ethics commission invites all the sports organizations of the Olympic movement to establish a similar policy and make this public, in order to increase transparency within the sports movement," Ndiaye wrote.
The presidents of FIFA and European soccer body UEFA do receive salaries, but they have not been made public.
Blatter, whose organization has been dogged by financial and corruption scandals, said in the past that his annual salary was "perhaps a bit more" than $1 million.
According to a report in Britain's Sunday Times newspaper last year, members of the FIFA executive committee receive $200,000 a year, as well as $500 per diems.
UEFA President Michel Platini's annual salary has been reported in a French business magazine as 3.2 million euros ($3.4 million).
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