Dubai Report -- IOC Counts on New Sponsor; Samaranch Memorial Date

(ATR) The IOC Executive Board meets in Dubai with summer and winter sports federations... A date set for a memorial service in Lausanne for the late Juan Antonio Samaranch...

New Sponsor Could Help Settle Revenue Sharing Issue

The signing of another TOP sponsor could smooth the way for the IOC and USOC to agree on how much the USOC should chip in for Games-related costs, the first element in their controversial revenue-sharing deal.

Denis Oswald, president of the summer sports federations and one of the IOC negotiators, tells Around the Rings that the USOC is trying to help the IOC sign another TOP sponsor.

There are currently nine, two fewer than the last Olympics. The sponsor name and category has not been released.

"There are discussions with a possible additional top sponsor," Oswald says. "If this comes to a positive conclusion, that would mean more money and it would be easier for USOC to accept our last counter-proposal, because having more money, they would be able to pay us something without cutting too much of their budget."

Oswald told the IOC Executive Board that the situation should be clarified in the next few weeks. "We need to keep the necessary pressure on our American friends," he said.

Oswald also told ATR that it's easier to work with the USOC's new leadership, chair Larry Probst and CEO Scott Blackmun, than with former chair Peter Ueberroth, who vigorously defended the USOC's right to its revenue share.

"They have showed a very positive attitude," says Oswald, who adds that the two sides had good discussions in Vancouver during the Winter Olympics. "They understand something has to be done and it was much more constructive than before.

Rogge Says Proper to Review Federation Revenue Shares

IOC President Jacques Rogge agreed it was proper to review the revenue received by each international federation, since the four groups were established by Primo Nebiolo and Juan Antonio Samaranch in 1996.

The process will probably entail a group of experts making a recommendation to the Executive Board, not to ASOIF.

If done within the ASOIF family, Oswald said, "there will be some tension between the different members. We prefer it done by a neutral party."

Rogge said $375 million is a reasonable estimate for the amount of money that will be in the pool, but the IOC cannot guarantee it. "It will depend on the quality of the London Games what the amount will be," he said. "Take this sum with the necessary caution. We hope we can deliver it and we hope we can give more."

Executive Board Meetings Continue

The Executive Board will hear reports from London, Rio de Janeiro and Sochi during its meetings Thursday at SportAccord. There will not be report from the Thomas Bach-led disciplinary commission regarding the 4 x 400-meter relay medalswon by the U.S teammates of admitted doper Crystal Cox.

Rogge will also have a closing press conference Thursday. The executive board will wind up its meetings Friday by reviewing 22 of the 66 recommendations from the Olympic Congress in Copenhagen and deciding which commissions should tackle them. The other 44 recommendations are being studied by working groups.

Tribute and Honors

A moment of silence for former IOC president Juan Antonio Samaranch, who died last week, preceded the IOC's joint session with the Association of Olympic Winter Federations. A memorial service in Lausanne has been set for May 20.

Rogge opened the joint meeting between the Executive Board and Association of Summer Olympic Federations by citing the tragic death of Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili. He said it made a permanent mark on the Vancouver Olympics, but should not overshadow everything else about the Games.

"To be fair to our Canadian friends, they were excellent and very friendly Games," Rogge said. "I'm very happy about logistics and operations.

In other business, Rogge announced that in the ongoing efforts to combat betting on the Olympics, a seminar will be held June 24 in Lausanne.

Written by Ed Hula.