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IOC puts up $20m to fight doping, fixing

15 December 2013

DOPING: The International Olympic Committee is putting up $US20 million ($A22.5 million) to fight doping and match-fixing - considered the two biggest threats to the credibility of the Games.

New IOC President Thomas Bach announced the funding projects on Saturday following an unprecedented four-day "brainstorming session" with his executive board in the Swiss resort of Montreux that focused on key issues for the future of the Olympic movement.

Bach, who was elected in September to succeed Jacques Rogge as president, has moved quickly to set his own course for the IOC and push what he calls the "Olympic Agenda 2020."

The German said the board agreed to create a $US10 million fund to pay for research into developing new and improved techniques for catching drug cheats.

The IOC is also asking national governments to contribute the same amount to the World Anti-Doping Agency for its own research projects.

Bach said the IOC wants to investigate whether there are more reliable and effective methods than standard urine and blood tests, citing testing of hair or cell samples among the possibilities.

"It would be very helpful if there would be another test method where we could find prohibited substances for a longer time," Bach said in a conference call.

The initiative comes at a time when the IOC is retesting doping samples from the 2006 Winter Games in Turin with an improved steroid detection method.

Meanwhile, Bach said the IOC is also setting up a $US10 million fund "to protect the clean athlete from any kind of manipulation or related corruption," a reference to match-fixing and illegal betting.

The IOC will sign a memorandum of understanding in early 2014 with the international police agency Interpol and set up a special monitoring program - the "Integrity Betting Intelligence System" - to check for any irregularities at the Olympics.

The IOC board also addressed the issue of "legacy" in Olympic host cities, deciding to set up a working group on "cost management".

The move comes amid increasing scrutiny over the high costs associated with staging the Olympics - including the record $US50 billion ($A56.25 billion) price tag for the coming Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.

With six cities submitting bids last month for the 2022 Winter Games, Bach said the IOC is asking them to make the broadest use possible of temporary venues or facilities that can be dismantled.

The board also decided to showcase three new sports in next year's Youth Olympics in Nanjing, China - roller sports, skateboarding and sport climbing.

There were also discussions about potential changes to the Olympic sports program, the bidding process, the 70-year age limit for IOC members and other issues - changes that would require approval by the full IOC.

Bach declined to give details on those discussions, saying those issues will come up for debate at the IOC general assembly in Sochi in February.

Stephen Wilson

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