GIANNI MERLO / AIPS president in RIO DE JANEIRO: The Olympic family is sometimes pleasantly sanctimonious and hypocritical. Why? In every speech Agenda 2020 is now mentioned, seemingly as a miraculous cure for everything that is wrong in sport.
In this series of innovative rules, there seems also be the elixir of life for the movement and a stimulus for cities to participate in large numbers in the race to win hosting rights for future Games.
It has been argued that the point is to avoid excessive costs for the candidates, thus restricting travelling, appearances, advertising.
Bid city candidates must practice humility and obedience to the dogmas of the five circles.
So, on Thursday a letter of reprimand was sent out to Rome, Los Angeles, Budapest and Paris – the candidates for the 2024 Games, similar to a yellow card in football. They had taken the liberty to invite journalists in Rio to visit their respective homes: Italy, United States, Hungary and France. And at no extra costs for the cities!
There is no better place for providing proper information to the media present in Rio, who can personally meet the various directors and directly assess the different proposals.
But the IOC believes such a logical solution should be forbidden. Better to move in hidden corridors like conspirators.
One wonders if the Olympic family wants to protect the work of the PR agencies, which are excellent, rather than also allowing a direct, healthy relationship.
The IOC is concerned about not encouraging its candidates spend money but does not care if newspapers and televisions have to make extra trips in order to get a correct idea of the proposed projects.
Not a single candidate is allowed to invite us.
Why? Is there the presumption that our opinion can be bought? The presumption that we are possible crooks?
I remember that not so many years ago there were problems of corruption in the Olympic family but the media should not be the one to pay for this.
Journalists are clean as the clean athletes the IOC is defending.
In Agenda 2020 no mention has been made regarding media rights, who endure a number of expenses to be able to participate in the Olympic celebration, all the while being denied many basic rights and access.
But on other days they we are part of the family.
As illegitimate children maybe?