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PREVIEW IOC to look at Hamburg's no despite Olympic Agenda; doping and FIFA By Stefan Tabeling, dpa

Europe
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The IOC executive board is probably not in a festive mood at this week‘s meetings - with Hamburg‘s no to a 2024 bid despite the newly adopted Olympic Agenda to be discussed, along with doping affairs in the Olympic showcase sports of athletics and the ongoing FIFA turmoil.

Lausanne, Switzerland (dpa) - Olympic Agenda 2020 was ratified a year ago but Hamburg‘s rejection of a 2024 Games bid in a referendum seems to suggest that the message to make the Games cheaper and more sustainable has not fully come across yet.

The reform programme was the brainchild of International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach, and insists that the no from the Hamburg residents on a bid from his native Germany is not a setback.

"This does not worry us at all," Bach said on Saturday, speaking of "a very particular situation."

In fact the IOC president believes Hamburg‘s bid - and those of other contenders - would never have happened without the agenda, which will now be reviewed by the IOC executive board (EB) during meetings from Tuesday until Thursday.

The EB will look into possible reasons why Hamburg and Boston are no longer in the running for 2024 - with Los Angeles, Paris, Rome and Budapest now vying for the Games, all without referendums.

Apart from concern that Olympics would be too much for Germany in the wake of the large influx of migrants, unclear financing and the scandals of major sports organizations FIFA and IAAF were also seemingly factors in Hamburg‘s no.

Athletics is the Olympic showcase sport, and a possible suspension of the Russian federation from the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics over a widespread doping programme cannot please the IOC.

But Bach expressed confidence in a November meeting with Russian Olympic supremo Alexander Zhukov that Russia will undergo the necessary reforms "in order to provide participation of the clean Russian athletes at the Olympic Games."

The IOC has also suspended its honorary member Lamine Diack, suspected by French police to have taken bribes to cover up positive doping tests during his reign as IAAF president which ended in August.

A large number of positive doping tests from Kenyan athletes will add to the IOC concern, and the EB will discuss Bach‘s recent proposal for a major overhaul of the World Anti-Doping Agency "to make the anti-doping system more independent of sports organisations."

The IOC can also not ignore FIFA as the ongoing football scandal saw further indictments and arrests from a US-led investigation last week, prompting Bach to reiterate "enough is enough."

The IOC has said on several occasions that FIFA must undergo a wide-range reform similar to changes it undertook itself in the aftermath of the bribes-for-votes scandal over Salt Lake City‘s successful bid for the 2002 Winter Games.

The Rio Games, around more alarming pollution news at the sailing venue, are on the EB agenda, as is Mexico, which has reportedly been warned by the IOC it could miss Rio 2016 over government interference.

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