IOC reforms 'will allow changes to Pyeongchang, Tokyo Olympics'
MONACO - Proposed International Olympic Committee reforms to be voted on this week will allow 2018 and 2020 Games hosts Pyeongchang and Tokyo to change the venues and sports for their events, IOC president Thomas Bach said Saturday.
The 60-year-old German also said the reforms will allow "new regions" of the world to bid for the Olympic Games.
The IOC is already having talks with South Korean organisers of the 2018 Winter Olympics and the Japanese hosts of the 2020 Summer Games on changes that will be possible if the reforms pass on Monday and Tuesday, Bach said.
"We are having discussions with both organising committees about the follow-up on the potential opportunities which the 2020 agenda will offer to them," Bach told a press conference at the end of a two-day IOC Executive Board meeting.
"There will be project reviews in both organising cities in January and February to follow up on this and to see what the 2020 agenda means for their organisations."
A general IOC assembly will on Monday and Tuesday vote on 40 proposals aiming to reform the IOC and make Olympic Games cheaper to stage and include more sports while capping athlete numbers at 10,500.
Pyeonchang, who after going close on previous occasions finally won the right to host the 2018 edition with a landslide win over Munich and Annecy in the vote in 2011, is suffering financial troubles and wants the South Korean government to pay more toward the cost of a new main stadium.
Tokyo -- who edged out Istanbul and Madrid for the right to host the 2020 Games -- meanwhile wants to stage more events away from the Japanese capital and also bring baseball and softball back into the Olympics.
Making the Olympics cheaper is a centre-piece of Bach's Agenda 2020 proposals which he has been working on since being elected to succeed Jacques Rogge in Buenos Aires in September 2013.
He said there could be venue changes for Pyeongchang and Tokyo if it leads to "more sustainability" and "less expenses".
Bach said the IOC wanted to "give a lot more flexibility to organising committees by, for example, letting certain events be staged outside the host city."
The IOC has sought reforms after several European cities backed out of bidding for the 2022 Winter Olympics because of the cost.
Only Beijing, bidding to become the first to host both a Summer (2008) and a Wineter Games, and Almaty in Kazakhstan remain in the race.
"One of the reasons for these recommendations is to allow new regions of the world to present their candidacy and so promote the Olympic spirit in the countries of your region," he said in answer to a Tunisian journalist.