On the Scene - Lillehammer Wins 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games

(ATR) Sole bidder confirmed as 2016 Winter YOG host ... Olympic Museum embezzlement update ... Ghana reinstated ... Athletes Commission candidates to come ... Ed Hula III reports from Lausanne.

(ATR) Lillehammer will stage the 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games.

The city in Norway was confirmed Wednesday following a postal vote of IOC membership ahead of this week’s Executive Board meetings in Lausanne.

As the sole bidder, all Lillehammer needed was a majority in order to take over hosting duties from Innsbruck 2012.

"We are excited to be going back to Lillehammer, which hosted unforgettable Winter Games in 1994," said IOC president Jacques Rogge.

"The city, the government and Norwegian National Olympic Committee have shown a great desire and commitment to hosting these Games, and we are confident that Lillehammer will provide a world-class experience for the young athletes in just over four years’ time."

Rogge is soon expected to establish a Coordination Commission to guide Lillehammer throughout the preparation period.

"It is with great pleasure and pride that the Norwegian Olympic Committee can now invite a new generation of athletes to Lillehammer," said Norwegian NOC President Børre Rognlien.

"We will attempt to build on the heritage of the Lillehammer 1994 Olympic Winter Games, and also create a new legacy – a legacy of young people, by young people, and for young people, as well as for our country and the rest of the winter sports world."

More than 1,000 athletes ages 15 to 18 will compete in the same seven sports on the program for next month’s inaugural Winter YOG.

Osaka Rule Lives On?

The IOC will work to amend the World Anti-Doping Agency Code to include the "Osaka Rule".

IOC communications chief Mark Adams made the announcement at Wednesday's press briefing following an Executive Board meeting in Lausanne.

"There is a consensus that we will, in some form, try to reinstate the Osaka Rule when the WADA Code comes up for revision," he said.

"All of the Olympic Movement stakeholders –NOCs, IFs and the IOC –will work toward that goal."

Joining Adams was Gilbert Felli, IOC Executive Director for the Olympic Games, who said that the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled against the IOC because its rule represented a "dual sanction."

"The basic issue of the Osaka Rule was not a sanction," Felli said. "It was supposed to protect the integrity and value of the Olympic Games.

Adams said the IOC will discuss the Osaka Rule with its stakeholders to plot how they will attempt to amend the Code as part of its revision process.

Olympic Museum Report

Adams provided a brief update into the embezzlement allegations at the OlympicMuseum.

He confirmed that there is "no kind of criminal taint" against IOCfinance director Thierry Sprunger, whose resignation for personal reasons was announcedlast week as news of the embezzlement broke.

There is one individual in police custody over the alleged fraud. Adams declined to give further information due to the nature of the ongoing investigation.

Athletes Commission

The list of approved candidates for the IOC Athletes Commission will soon be released, according to Adams.

One candidate’s eligibility is being reviewed. If approved, there will be 21 candidates; otherwise, there will be 20 Olympians vying for the four seats.

All Olympians at the London Olympics will vote for the candidates.

2012 TV Deals

Timo Lumme, managing director of IOC Television & Marketing Services, gave "an overall health check" of television rights sales for the 2012 Olympics at Wednesday's meeting in Lausanne.

Three territories have deals that are not yet finalized, Adams said, and the IOC is "very happy with how those deals are going and the contracts that have been signed."

Ghana Reinstated

The IOC EB also determined that the Ghana Olympic Committee is now "fully compliant" with IOC regulations and is no longer a suspended NOC.

Thursday Schedule

Organizing committees for the upcoming Olympics as well as the Ethics Commission will make their reports to the EB on Thursday.

Investigations into the dealings of IOC members Issa Hayatou and Lamine Diack are the focus of the ethics report. Former IOC member Joao Havelange was also under investigation until he resigned his seat last week.

Another press briefing will follow the day's meetings.

With reporting in Lausanne from Ed Hula III.

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