International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach will receive an annual indemnity payment of €225,000 (£164,000/$243,000), the IOC Ethics Commission has revealed today as part of a bid to illustrate its transparency.

Releasing greater financial details has been hailed as a major reforming gesture by the IOC, with openness and good governance a key part of the Agenda 2020 reform process approved last December in Monte Carlo.

IOC members and IOC honorary members will receive annual administrative support of $7,000 (£4,700/€6,400) as well as $450 (£304/€415) per day when travelling to Olympic Games as well as IOC Session and Commission meetings and other "special missions".

An additional sum of $450 on top of the $450 they already receive will also be paid to Commission chairs when travelling to meetings, while the same amount will be paid to IOC Executive Board members during events.

In a published letter sent to all members by IOC Ethics Commission chair Youssoupha Ndiaye, it was explained that the IOC's "wish for greater transparency has been reflected in the IOC's presentation of its finances using the highest international standards", adding:

"It must also be reflected in all other aspects of the IOC's management, particularly with regard to the policy on indemnities allocated to IOC members."

The letter ends with a call for all the sports organisations within the Olympic Movement to establish a similar policy and make this public, in order to "increase transparency within the sports movement".

With relation to Bach, it is explained that, although a volunteer, the President "should not have to finance activities related to his function from his personal savings".

As an "Executive President", the German is considered to be "on a mission" for the IOC 365 days a year, and has received a relevant indemnity in the past.

But, "for the sake of transparency", it has been decided that this will now come from one single source, with Bach consequently not receiving either the fixed annual support nor the daily indemnity related to all Commission meetings or anything else he is entitled to as a member.

This payment does not include Bach'a hotel accommodation, including when in Lausanne, when he stays in a suite paid for by the IOC at the Lausanne Palace Hotel.

This presumably accounts for the far lower total than the $709,000 (£440,000/€530,000)  in expenses paid to former President Jacques Rogge in 2012, which has been declared in previous IOC Annual Reports.

As well as the fact that Bach's allowance has been publicised more vocally, the other practical difference now appears to be how Bach will be paid in one lump sum, rather than through individual expenses payments.

Details of salaries and allowances received by other high profile sporting Presidents are invariably hazy, but in a Financial Report released last month, it was revealed that short-term employee benefits of $39.7 million (£26.6 million/€36.4 million) were paid to key management personnel within football governing body FIFA.

With the numbers of "key management personnel" numbering 37 as of 2012, this would imply average benefits of around $1 million (£670,000/€916,000) each, although it can be presumed that some officials receive far higher than that.

There have also been some calls for the IOC President to be a salaried position, with Ukraine's Sergey Bubka calling for this when he unsuccessfully stood against Bach for the Presidency in 2013, but this has been resisted.

Today's annoucement follows on from other positive gestures by the IOC regarding financial openness in recent weeks.

This includes the appointment of Pâquerette Girard Zappelli to the newly created position of chief ethics and compliance officer in the IOC administration, something proposed in Recommendation 31 of Agenda 2020.

Will Keenan has also been appointed chief internal audit officer.

The letter sent to the IOC membership and honorary membership can be read here.


Thompson, Bledman, Cedenio sizzle in US

Richard “Torpedo” Thompson, Keston Bledman and Machel Cedenio recorded fast openers at meets in the United States, on Saturday.
Competing in the 100 metres dash for the first time this season, Thompson stopped the clock at 10.04 seconds for victory in section one at the Alumni Gold meet, in Louisiana.

With that clocking, Thompson shot into second spot on the 2015 world performance list, behind American Trayvon Bromell (10.02). Another Trinidad and Tobago athlete, Texas State University student Aaron George was seventh in section two and 14th overall in the Alumni Gold men’s 100m in a wind-assisted 10.64.

Thompson had a busy day at the Alumni Gold meet, finishing fifth in the 200m in a windy 21.01 seconds, and running the second leg for third-placed Tiger Olympians in the 4x100m relay. Thompson’s team clocked 40.03.

Steve Waithe was also in winners’ row in Louisiana. Appropriately, the T&T/Pennsylvania State University athlete struck gold in the LeJuan Simon men’s triple jump event with a wind-aided 15.73m effort. Waithe’s best legal jump in the competition was 15.45m.

Simon was a T&T athlete, the highpoint of his career coming in 2004 when he represented the country at the Athens Olympics. The former Louisiana State University (LSU) student died in 2008 at the age of 27 as a result of complications from primary pulmonary hypertension.

At the National Training Center (NTC) Pure Athletics Sprint Elite Meet 1, in Florida, Bledman bolted to victory in the men’s 100m dash in a windy 9.94 seconds. In the preliminary round, the T&T sprinter clocked a windy 9.97 in his first 100m race for 2015. He won the heat, advancing to the final as the fastest qualifier.

Cedenio was on fire in his 400m season-opener, the 2014 world junior champion winning the men’s one-lap race in a personal best 45.09 seconds—good enough for sixth spot on the 2015 world performance list.

Kelly-Ann Baptiste got home in a wind-assisted 22.91 seconds to bag bronze in the women’s 200m. And Wayne Davis II topped the men’s 110m hurdles “B” race in 13.66.

In Texas, Deon Lendore clocked 45.14 seconds to grab gold in the Michael Johnson Classic men’s 400m event. The Texas A&M University quartermiler is seventh on this year’s world performance list.

Another T&T athlete, Janeil Bellille finished eighth in the women’s 400m in 55.08.

At the Georgia Tech Invitational, Emanuel Mayers won the men’s 400m hurdles in 50.39 seconds, and Ade Alleyne-Forte was second in the men’s 400m “B” race in 47.59.



Several meet records were broken on the way to a cameo appearance from current 400-metre hurdles World Champion Jehue Gordon, which brought a fitting end to the President's Classic meet at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on Saturday. The National Association of Athletics Administrations (NAAA) hosted the invitational event, which featured a promising crop of junior athletes, as well as established local and international stars. The event served as an avenue for athletes from over 50 clubs at all levels to participate and gain much-needed experience to help their developmental process. And what more inspiration would have been needed other than to see Jehue Gordon anchor for Memphis Pioneers Athletics Club in the night's final event-- the men's open 4x100 metre relay.
The relay events drew most on the attention on the day, at Memphis Pioneers powered to the finish in three minutes 13.37 seconds. The club had already established their commanding lead by the time the baton had been handed over to our World-Champion hurdler. Gordon made light work of the final leg as he powered home to give Pioneers the victory, much to the excitement of the onlooking crowd. In the women's version of the event, UTT Fast Track destroyed the entire field, as they were well ahead by the time the first leg was completed. They were in total control and brought the baton home in a time of 3:51.43, five seconds ahead of their nearest rivals. Abilene Wildcats Athletics Club finished in second 3:55.49, while Point Fortin New Jets were in a close third 3:56.90.
UTT Fast Track also dominated in the men's open 4x100m relay, despite a sluggish anchor leg which saw them finish first in 41.86. The Wildcats and New Jets finished in second and third respectively in a tight chasing pack. A new meet record was established in the women's open 4x100 when Simplex Athletic Club blazed to the finish in 46.46. The lead was exchanged earlier on in the race, however Simplex pulled ahead on the third leg and were able to hold on to the finish. Both Concorde Athletic Club and UTT were a second behind, clocking 47.59 and 47.70 respectively.
In the hotly-anticipated men's open 100m final, there was a bit of an anti-climax as half of the star-studded field did not show, including Rebirth's Marcus Duncan and Jonathan Farinha, of the Wildcats. Farinha competed in the recently concluded Carifta Games in St Kitts and Nevis. The reduced field did not stop 2008 Olympic Silver medallist, Emmanuel Callender from not only annihilating the field, but clocking a new meet record in 10.23.
There were a few stand out performances from the juniors. Francis Louis, of Toco T.A.F.A.C. powerfully finished with a time of 10.70 in the boy's U-20 100m final. Akanni Hislop devastated the field in the boy's U-18 200m setting a meet record as well in 21.28, almost a second ahead of the nearest competitor. The Wild Cat's Jamol Pierre ran riot in the boy's U-20 400m final, as he set a new meet record finishing well ahead of the field, after taking control from the back straight. Caliyah Wallace also added her two cents, as she also set a meet record in the girl's U-14 200m final, clocking 25.26. The field events also featured record-breakers, Isaiah Taylr, Seon Stafford, Portious Warren and the prodiguous Shakiel Waithe in the javelin throw, all set new meet records.
NAAA president Ephraim Serrette told the Express that the meet was organised to develop local athletes particularly in the junior divisions. He also indicated that the President's Classic was intended to help fill the void left by the Palo Seco Games. In order to continue their mandate for youth development in the sport, the association is also hosting the NAAA Development Meet at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on Sunday.


FORMER NATIONAL female rugby standout Kwanieze John began her official tenure as North America Caribbean Rugby Association (NACRA) project manager by assisting coaches of the National Sports Council in Barbados with the region’s Get Into Rugby (GIR) programme on Friday and Saturday.

John, who was appointed to the position just over a week ago, will now implement her many years of on-field competitive experience into the further development of regional teams. Her primary responsibility will be NACRA’s GIR programme, assisting countries with their efforts to increase participation, the coordination of NACRA’s strategies related to women and girls in the sport and to and help with other NACRA initiatives.

NACRA president Dennis Dwyer praised the fraternity’s newest staff member, and credited John for her impeccable work ethic.

“This was a very encouraging selection process, with many impressive applicants from around the world,” said Dwyer. “We are very pleased that such a strong candidate came out of Trinidad and Tobago. Kwanieze’s lengthy experience in rugby, as a coach, as a Youth Development Officer with the TTRFU (Trinidad and Tobago Rugby Football Union), and as a regional Get Into Rugby instructor has prepared her well for the position. We are proud to have recruited her talents to benefit NACRA and its members.”

Prior to her appointment, John has worked for the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC), and was Chef de Mission for Team TT at the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China last year.

NACRA’s Regional Development officer Scott Harland was also excited about the new hire. “As a NACRA Get Into Rugby instructor, Kwanieze has already helped us bring rugby to the countries of St Kitts/Nevis and Antigua/Barbuda, where it hadn’t existed before.

Kwanieze’s experience with the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee is particularly valuable at this stage of our sport’s evolution. Her enthusiasm and passion for the sport are contagious, and I expect that she will make a profound impact on the region.” Since her April 1 confirmation as project manager, John, alongside a able-bodied Caribbean team, has been working assiduously towards increasing the awareness of rugby throughout the archipelago of islands.

“Sport has always played a major role in my life, and rugby specifically has had significant influence on my character.

I am thrilled to be given the opportunity to help grow this great sport and share all that it offers with young people across the Caribbean,” said John.

The former national player will be based at home in TT and can be reached at


International Olympic Committee (IOC) members have unanimously approved the launch of a digital Olympic Channel, in a move acclaimed by Thomas Bach, the President, as "a great, great step forward".

With operational costs projected at €490 million (£385 million/$600 million) over the 2015-2021 period, the concept's proponents were forced to overcome concerns voiced by former sprinter Frankie Fredericks that this new expense should not absorb funds that would otherwise be earmarked for athletes.

But otherwise, IOC members agreed to take what Yiannis Exarchos, chief executive of Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS), described both as a "historic step" and "a responsibility and a challenge of Olympic proportions" with enthusiasm.

"Not going into this is just not an option," said Camiel Eurlings, an IOC member from The Netherlands.

Ser Miang Ng, the former IOC Presidential candidate who is now chairman of the IOC Finance Commission, told members that the estimated breakeven period for the new channel, aimed particularly at improving the Olympic Movement's communication with young people, was seven to 10 years.

"After seven-10 years, we believe we have a very viable financial model," he said.

He exhibited new figures showing that the IOC itself would contribute €175 million (£138 million/$215 million), or nearly 36 per cent, of the projected €490 million costs, which include a 10 per cent contingency.

Sports federations and National Olympic Committees would each chip in €72 million (£57 million/$89 million), the Olympic Movement Fund €38 million, while the remaining €133 million (£105 million/$164 million) would come from incremental TV rights and TOP sponsorship programme sales.

Exarchos explained that the intention was for the "always-on" global channel - which will make use of the IOC's extensive archive of footage from past Olympics and be based in Madrid - to be "the ultimate content and community for the Olympics".

Users would, he promised, be able to gain access in many different ways, including tablets and laptops, "matching the lifestyles of the youth of today".

Given the absolute necessity that the new channel should enhance rather than damage the heavy investment in Olympic content made by the IOC's global network of broadcast partners, the Movement's biggest revenue source, it will not carry live coverage of the Olympics themselves, unless by agreement with local rights holders.

It is, however, expected to broadcast coverage of other Olympic and non-Olympic sports events which do not, at present, benefit from mainstream television coverage.


A major schism between International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach and his SportAccord counterpart Marius Vizer was made public for the first time here today.

Vizer used his opening speech at SportAccord's General Assembly to accuse Bach of trying to block projects he has tried to introduce, criticised the launch of the Olympic TV Channel as a waste of money and accused the IOC of lack of transparency and claimed that Agenda 2020 had brought "hardly any benefit" to sport.

Vizer also called for International Federations to be given a greater say in the future of the IOC and for a fairer distribution of money.

Bach reteliated by claiming Vizer's views were out of step with the International Federations, who make up SportAccord, the umbrella organisation for all Olympic and non-Olympic sports.

The exchange laid bare the animosity between Bach and Vizer, an open secret in the Olympic world for several months now.

"After becoming SportAccord President, I always tried to develop a constructive collaboration with the IOC and with President Bach," Vizer told nearly 200 delegates, including Association of National Olympic Committees President Sheikh Ahmed Al-Fahad Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah, a key ally of both men, gathered here.

"A collaboration based on respect towards the Olympic Movement, its members and the values in which I believe. Unfortunately, it never became reality.

"I made a number of proposals in favor and for the benefit of IFs and SportAccord but we have never received a positive reaction. Mr. President, stop blocking the SportAccord strategy in its mission to identify and organise conventions and multi-sport games.".

The hostility between the two men dates back to Vizer's proposal more than two years ago to launch the United World Games, an event that would combine the major championships of several sports in the same country during the same period.

It is an event that Bach fears threatens to undermine the uniqueness of the Olympics.

Vizer's plan has never moved beyond the drawing board but has led to a wound being opened which will clearly never be healed.

Vizer, who is also President of the International Judo Federation, has since privately claimed Bach has tried to block him at every opportunity by trying to block countries hosting some of the multi-sport Games he is planning to introduce to the calendar and warning sports they risked their place on the Olympic programme if they support him.

Vizer also believes that Bach has set out to undermine the SportAccord Convention, his organisation's main fundraising event of the year, by preventing cities bidding for the Olympics from making presentations and by withdrawing a meeting of the IOC's ruling Executive Board which has always been held alongside the event since it was first launhed in 2003.  

"The voting for potential host cities of the Olympic Games is compromised," Vizer said.

"Key stakeholders are excluded from making informed decisions when selecting Olympic host cities: the bid cities cannot present their candidatures at SportAccord Convention to all stakeholders, IOC members cannot visit bid cities and during the IOC Session, when the vote takes place, IF presidents - who are organisers of the Olympic Games, are obliged to leave the room."

In a wide-ranging attack, Vizer also hit out at Agenda 2020, Bach's great reform of the Olympic Movement designed to make it a more modern and tranpsarent organisation and claimed that the International Federations had not been consulted fully.

"The Agenda 2020 was promoted as a platform, which would bring reforms to the world of sport and benefits for all stakeholders," he said.

"However, the interests of the International Federations were not properly addressed.

"The Agenda 2020 hardly brings any real benefit to sport, to IFs, or athletes.

"It did not bring about more clear criteria, rules and principles.

The Olympic TV Channel, one of the key proposals of Agenda 2020, was dismissed as having no clear business plan and strategy and was criticised for spending more than $450 million.

"The launch of an Olympic channel was very surprising," said Vizer.

"The IOC Members voted in December 2014, in the IOC Session, unilaterally, without a clear business plan, a commercialisation plan and project, to reduce the dividends to International Federations in order to establish the Olympic Channel.

"Leaving from the premise that the Olympic Movement has the assets, any business project in the world needs a business plan, investors, professional partners, breakeven points, strategy, consultation with stakeholders - International Federations and to generate a benefit for all stakeholders.

"Only after the decision it appears that a plan is in process.

"At the same time, the cost of more than $450 million to establish a digital channel seems exaggerated.

"Do consult us as stakeholders of the Olympic Movement regarding all the proposals, contracts and partnerships that are being signed and make them transparent.

Vizer also criticised the amount of money host cities spend on Cermonies at Olympics.

"Why invest hundreds of millions of dollars in Opening and Cosing ceremonies, while millions of athletes live in hunger and they don’t stand a chance in sport due to the lack of proper conditions?" he said.

"If indeed the IOC distributes $3.25 million a day, every day of the year, for the development of sport worldwide, why do millions of athletes suffer and cannot enjoy or reach performances in sport?

"Together, SportAccord and IOC must find a solution to compensate National Federations and athletes from their events.

"Today, the money invested in sport never reaches the athletes and their families.

"SportAccord and the International Federations are already providing prize money to their athletes in competitions, in an effort to compensate for this."

Vizer also said that the International Federations should hold the balance of power when it came to making decisions within the IOC rather than people not directly involved with sport.

"According to the Olympic Charter, the total number of IOC Members may not exceed 115, out of which only 45 are the ones directly involved in sport: 15 representatives of the IFs, 15 of the NOCs, 15 of the athletes," said Vizer, who is not an IOC member.

"This minority is the real royalty of the sport.

"In spite of this, during any vote, they can never determine change.

"In order to protect the real interests of sport, the majority of votes should belong to people in functions or offices related directly to sport."He also claimed serving Presidents should not be subject of age-limits, forcing them to give up their membership of the IOC when they reach the age of 70.

"The IOC system is expired, outdated, wrong, unfair and not at all transparent," said Vizer.

"The Olympic Games belong to all of us and we need real reforms."

Bach was clearly taken abck by Vizer's attack - which officials claimed he had no pre-warning of - and claimed that many of the International Federations, several of them headed by IOC members, had contributed to Agenda 2020 and supported the proposals.

"My impression is your opinion you have exclusively for you," said Bach, direclty Vizer.

He spent much longer than the original five minutes he had been allocated.

"I have been a little longer after this friendly welcome," he told delegates.

"What we need altogether is credibility.

"This credibility we can only achieve if we have unity in our diversity.

"I invite you to bring your diverse opinions to the table but then be united in our concerted effort."

Bach, however, faced another broadside from Vizer when he sat down afterwards.

"If you want to be respected, you have to be prepared to be fair," Vizer told him.

Long-time Olympic watchers compared this incident to what happened more than 30 years when Thomas Keller, then head of the President of the General Association of International Sports Federations, the forerunner to SportAccord, insisted that the International Federations should be the most important members of the Olympic Family.

That brought him into conflict with Juan Antonio Samaranch, then starting his 20-plus year reign as IOC President, who outmanoeuvred him as he brought the Olympic Movement back from the brink of bankruptcy and helped turn it into the hugely successful organisation it is today.