Concern over finances and where to host the 2030 Winter Olympics are among the big questions hanging over the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as the ruling Executive Board opens a two day meeting in Lausanne.
A report from IOC finance commission chair Ser Miang Ng may be one of the headlines from day one. The balance sheet of the IOC continues to recover from the shock of the pandemic and the upheaval of postponing the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Ng’s report may clarify the extent to which the IOC bottom line has suffered from the $800 million pumped into Tokyo to keep the Games on track for an extra year.
The IOC reported $7.6 billion in revenue for the 2017-2021 period. Its forecast for the next four-year cycle will be a telling sign of the times for the Olympic Movement. Already the winter sports in the Beijing 2022 Games have been advised their share of revenue from the IOC TV rights will not increase, and is likely to be in line with revenue from Sochi 2014, about $199 million. Revenue from the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang reached the $216 million mark.
Reports from upcoming Olympics are on the agenda on day one, from Paris 2024 to Brisbane 2032, a lineup of six host cities.
Just as the IOC seemed headed toward Sapporo, Japan as the preferred choice to host the 2030 Winter Games, the bid could be crashing over the marketing scandal now unfolding over Tokyo 2020. A former Dentsu executive who served on the Tokyo 2020 board faces charges over alleged inside deal-making for a Games sponsor.
Sapporo’s mayor has cancelled a trip to Lausanne this month, a meeting which might have confirmed the IOC’s intent to move forward with Sapporo.
While the IOC commission on future Winter Olympics is not on the agenda for the EB distributed in advance, IOC President Thomas Bach may well face questions from Japanese media at the press briefing Friday when the EB ends.
The war of Russia against Ukraine will likely be a factor in a number of agenda items for the EB. The handling of Russian athletes who want to compete in Paris is one of those questions. Relations with the Russian NOC, arguably one of the most influential in the world, are in a difficult spot due to the war.
A report from the IOC Ethics Commission may clarify the status of self-suspended IOC member Sheikh Ahmad Al-Sabah. He was convicted on forgery charges in Switzerland last November. An IOC member in Kuwait since 1992, the sheikh headed a number of Olympic bodies until his self-suspension in 2018.
The IOC Ethics Commission, chaired by former U.N. Secretary General Ki Moon Ban, will report on the opening day of the 15-member EB.
It’s not known if any other files are open at the commission. It’s last public action came in 2018 when it accepted Sheikh Ahmad’s self-suspension.