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IOC drops recognition, funding for SportAccord; asks federations to restructure umbrella body

06/07/2015 03:23 EDT | Updated 06/07/2016 05:59 EDT
LAUSANNE, Switzerland - The IOC withdrew its recognition and funding for SportAccord on Sunday and called on international federations to reshape the umbrella body that has been torn apart by Marius Vizer's attack on Olympic leaders.

On the first day of a two-day meeting in Lausanne, the IOC executive board also reviewed the corruption crisis swirling around FIFA and prepared to make a decision on adding new events for the 2018 Winter Games, including Big Air in snowboarding and freestyle skiing.

The board, chaired by IOC President Thomas Bach, called for a complete restructuring of SportAccord, which had represented Olympic and non-Olympic federations.

More than two dozen federations have withdrawn or suspended ties with SportAccord since Vizer, its president since 2003, blasted the IOC and Bach in a speech in Sochi, Russia, in April. Among other things, Vizer called the IOC system "expired, outdated, wrong, unfair and not at all transparent" and said Bach's "Olympic Agenda 2020" reform program was of little use to the federations.

Vizer resigned as president a week ago, leaving SportAccord's future in doubt.

"We are suspending our recognition and we will withhold our funding until these questions are answered and an agreement between the stakeholders has been reached," the International Olympic Committee said.

The IOC said it provides about $300,000 annually to SportAccord, including $160,000 for anti-doping programs.

The committee said it would continue direct relations with international federations and wait for them to come up with a solution for SportAccord, including the fate of its annual sports industry convention.

"It's not for the IOC to make those decisions," IOC spokesman Mark Adams said. "It's up to the various stakeholders, largely the international federations. They need to consider among themselves what the future for SportAccord is."

In the meantime, the IOC said it would step in to provide the anti-doping services that some federations had received from SportAccord. The IOC said it would also support the federations on issues of good governance, match fixing and corruption.

Adams said the board held a "general discussion" about the FIFA crisis, but made no concrete decisions or recommendations.

The meeting came as FIFA reels from a bribery scandal that has landed seven officials in jail in Zurich and led to Sepp Blatter's decision to resign as president of world soccer's governing body. Blatter is also an IOC member.

"We continue to watch ongoing developments there very closely," Adams said. "Obviously there are two criminal investigations going on there at the present."

The IOC was rocked by its own corruption scandal in the late 1990s, with 10 members ousted for receiving improper inducements during Salt Lake City's winning bid for the 2002 Winter Games.

On Monday, the executive board will consider proposals to add several new events for the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. They are Big Air in both snowboarding and freestyle skiing, mass start in speedskating and mixed doubles in curling.

The new events were proposed for inclusion by their respective international federations, IOC sports director Kit McConnell confirmed to The Associated Press on Sunday.

The snowboard parallel slalom event, meanwhile, has been proposed to be dropped from the Olympic program.

On Tuesday, less than two months before the vote, the full IOC will gather at the Olympic Museum to hear technical presentations from the two bid cities for the 2022 Winter Olympics — Almaty, Kazakhstan, and Beijing.

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