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2ND LEAD Bach calls on sport to fight corruption; Mexico safe for Rio 2016 By Stefan Tabeling, dpa

Europe
Von unserem dpa-Korrespondenten und Europe Online   auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Lausanne, Switzerland (dpa) - International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach on Tuesday urged sports federations to step up their fight against corruption while the organization said the Mexican delegation was not in danger of being banned from the 2016 Games.

Bach did not name football‘s FIFA and the ruling athletics body IAAF, who are engulfed in a corruption and doping crisis respectively, but said that "recent developments in some sports are particularly upsetting."

Meanwhile Mexican athletes will be able to compete in Rio next year as the IOC found no evidence the government was interfering with sports federations and construction got underway on the new IOC headquarters.

"We must do everything we can to protect these millions of clean athletes around the world," Bach said in an opinion piece titled "Renewing Trust in Sport" and published on the IOC website.

"For their sake and for the credibility of sports competition, they have to be protected from doping and corrupting influences. We also have to protect the credibility of sports competition from match-fixing and manipulation.

"Fighting corruption also means that good governance for sporting organisations is essential. The IOC has put the necessary measures in place since a long time ... We have called on and we expect all sports organisations to follow this route."

Bach has repeatedly urged FIFA to ensure reform over its corrption affairs which have led to criminal investigations in the United States and Switzerland, with so far around a dozen arrests and some 30 officials indicted.

"Enough is enough," Bach reiterated Saturday in his native Germany.

Bach highlighted that the IOC now adhered to "internationally recognized standards of governance" and claimed it served as an example to other organizations.

"As Nelson Mandela said: "Sport has the power to change the world." Yes, these are difficult times for sport. But yes, it is also an opportunity to renew the trust in this power of sport to change the world for the better."

The athletics affair has seen Russia suspended from competition and in danger of missing out on the Rio 2016 Olympics over allegations of systematic doping in the country.

In addition former IAAF president Lamine Diack is under criminal investigation in France on suspicion of taking bribes to cover up positive doping tests. He has since been suspended as honorary IOC member.

Bach was speaking on the first anniversary Tuesday of the adoption of the Olympic Agenda 2020 reform package which apart from efforts to make future Games cheaper and more sustainable includes a 20-million dollar fund to protect clean athletes.

The FIFA and IAAF crisis, coupled with an affair around Germany‘s hosting of the 2006 World Cup, were also seen as one reason why Hamburg‘s bid to host the 2024 Olympics was rejected in a referendum on November 29.

IOC director Pere Miro had positive news for Mexico, who will not be threatened with a ban for government interference in sport. Instead Miro said the Mexican government had been asking federations to account for how public money had been spent which was legitimate.

However, Kuwait‘s Olympic Committee remains suspended, for government interference, meaning Kuwaiti athletes will not be able represent their country in Rio. Previously the IOC has allowed athletes from suspended nations to compete as individuals under the Olympic flag.

And the IOC could also celebrate the first groundwork on its new 160 million Swiss franc (161 million dollar) headquarters in Lausanne which will eventually accommodate 600 employees.

Constructed at an existing IOC site, the new building will bring together several IOC offices which are currently spread around the city.

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