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Olympic Charter: Flexibility Proposed in Venue Selection for Opening Ceremonies

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board is set to recommend several amendments to the Olympic Charter, to be presented for voting at the upcoming 142nd IOC Session ahead of Paris Olympics 2024. These recommendations aim to enhance governance, update regulations, and adapt to the current sports landscape.

One of the significant proposed changes involves expanding the flexibility for selecting venues to host the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games. Currently constrained by the requirement to use an “Olympic stadium,” the term is sought to be replaced with “opening ceremony venue”. This revision allows for more creative and adaptable choices in showcasing the ceremony’s grandeur and cultural significance, potentially using iconic landmarks or city centres as venues.

Additionally, the proposed amendments address governance issues within the IOC itself. One proposal seeks to ensure continuity in leadership by extending the number of IOC members eligible for age limit extensions from five to ten at any given time. This adjustment aims to maintain experienced leadership and institutional knowledge within the IOC.

Further changes include updating the IOC’s register to separately list suspended members, clarifying quorum rules for IOC Sessions, and updating the names of recognised International Federations (IFs). Notably, the International Swimming Federation (FINA) is proposed to be renamed World Aquatics (AQUA). At the same time, the International Boxing Association (IBA) faces removal from the list of recognised IFs following the decision of the IOC Session in June of last year to withdraw IBA’s recognition.

The IOC Executive Board has also delegated powers to a) the CAS Anti-Doping Division regarding violations of the IOC Anti-Doping Rules at Paris Olympics 2024, and to b) the Disciplinary Commission and the IOC administration regarding violations of rules or regulations issued by the IOC, an International Federation, or a National Olympic Committee and any form of misbehaviour that occurs during the Olympic Games Paris 2024.